Some naturalized foreigners "under suspicion", says Interior Ministry

The Ministry released the names of the almost 400 naturalized foreigners in the wake of the nationwide backlash over the naturalization decree, signed by President Michel Aoun, Prime Minister Saad Hariri and Machnouq.
by Georgi Azar

7 June 2018 | 20:22

Source: by Annahar

  • by Georgi Azar
  • Source: Annahar
  • Last update: 7 June 2018 | 20:22

A file photo of Interior Minister Nouhad Machnouq (AP Photo)

BEIRUT: A number of the recently naturalized foreigners are "under judicial and security suspicion" according to a statement released Thursday by the Interior Ministry, casting doubt on caretaker Interior Minister Nouhad Machnouq's previous assertion that all those granted citizenship were thoroughly vetted by the Internal Security Forces, INTERPOL, and judicial authorities. 

The Ministry released the names of the almost 400 naturalized foreigners in the wake of the nationwide backlash over the naturalization decree signed by President Michel Aoun, Prime Minister Saad Hariri and, Machnouq. 

The decree, signed on May 11 and ten days before Cabinet entered its caretaker mode, granted the Lebanese nationality to Syrians and Palestinians, as well as GCC nationals and businessmen from the Americas and Europe.

Despite Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil attempting to deny allegations of bribery, saying that those granted citizenship "were worthy of Lebanese nationality", the resolution drew widespread condemnation from opposition groups including the Kataeb and Lebanese Forces parties. 

Aoun had tasked earlier this week Major General Abbas Ibrahim, the head of Lebanon's General Security, with vetting those granted citizenship and "verifying that they are worthy of Lebanese nationality" after backlash engulfed the resolution across the board.

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