Elections in Belarus. Protests in Beirut.
Protests took place in Beirut. The protesters demanded the resignation of the president, speaker, and prime minister. It was reported that on Saturday, in the central part of Beirut, an anti-government protest took place, which escalated into riots. According to the ‘Al-Hadath’ TV — about 105 Lebanese soldiers were injured. The Arab mass media reported that at least 728 people were injured during the protests. One policeman died from a head wound. The protests resumed on Sunday. The clashes took place near the Lebanese parliament. The security forces used tear gas to disperse the protesters. The ‘Al Arabiya’ TV reported that police of the city of Beirut used special equipment and rubber bullets to disperse the protesters in the city center. The protesters reacted by throwing stones at the police. According to the ‘Al-Hadath’ TV — the sound of automatic firearms was heard in the riot zone. Later, the Lebanese army denied any information about the use of any bullets by the military against the protesters. The ‘Al-Hadath’ TV reported that the protesters broke into the building of the Lebanese Ministry of Labor, and the Ministry of Displaced Persons. At the moment it is quiet in Beirut. Groups of activists gathered in the ‘Place de Martyre’, near a small tent camp, where some humanitarian aid is being distributed to the residents, affected by the explosion during 4th of August.
According to the CEC data, released on Monday, Alexander Lukashenko won the elections in Belarus with 80.08% of votes. The Chairman of the Executive Committee, the Executive Secretary of the CIS, Sergei Lebedev, stated that the elections were held in accordance with the law. The press secretary of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Belarus, Olga Chemodanova, denied the allegations about a person who died during the riots in Minsk on 9th of August. She added that on Sunday, during the protests, 39 police officers and more than 50 civilians were injured. About 3,000 people were detained. Earlier the representative of the human rights center «Vesna», Valentin Stefanovich, announced that 1 person was killed during the riots on Sunday in Minsk. The President of Belarus, Alexander Lukashenko, stated during a meeting with the chairman of the CIS Executive Committee, the head of the observer mission, Sergei Lebedev, that the protesters were led via telephone calls from Poland, the UK, and the Czech Republic — the ‘BelTA’ agency reported such information. Lukashenko underlined that he won’t allow the «Maidan scenario» to happen, and he will give an adequate response to the attempts to tear the country apart.
The Polish Foreign Minister, Jacek Czaputovich, stated during a press conference that the EU may consider to introduce new sanctions against Belarus. According to him — «everything depends on the development of the situation, and the actions of the authorities in Minsk. The sanctions will be one of the options for consideration» — the minister explained. He expressed his hope that such scenario won’t happen. Earlier, the Prime Minister of Poland, Mateusz Morawiecki, came up with an initiative to hold an extraordinary EU summit, dedicated to the situation in Belarus after the presidential elections in the country. «Poland is responsible for the closest neighbors. Thus, the Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki, in his letter to the head of the European Council, Charles Michel, and to the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, called for an extraordinary EU summit due to the events in Belarus» — said the statement on the official website of the Polish government.
The Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi stated that the US draft resolution on the arms embargo against Tehran poses a threat to the UN Security Council. «This project bears more threat to the UN Security Council and the UN Security Council mechanisms, than to Iran. By abusing the Security Council as an instrument, the USA want to weaken, eliminate, or control the council. Vigilance is needed here» — Abbas Mousavi explained and expressed his hope that the USA won’t succeed in the matter of the arms embargo. Earlier, the US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, stated that the US had prepared a draft resolution for the UN Security Council, aimed to extend the arms embargo against Iran. The document is planned to be considered soon.