Sunday, 22 May 2011

Syria protest at Beirut's Bristol

Beirut: Many major political decisions and meetings in Lebanon take place at the Le Bristol in Beirut. On Tuesday, May 17, it became caught in the crossfire, with the result that it felt obliged to put out a statement regretting hosting a conference that showed solidarity with the Syrian government, as it had endangered the well-being of the hotel's employees and customers. It says: "The management learned from media reports that potential protests might take place outside the hotel at the time of the conference, which might pave the way for clashes between protesters loyal to the Syrian regime and others who oppose it."
MTV reported that members of the Baath party and SSNP had visited the hotel and asked to hold a pro-Syrian regime conference at the same time as a conference in solidarity with Syrian protesters. After Le Bristol cancelled the event, the organiser of the conference in support of the Syrian protestors failed to find another venue. Co-ordinator Saleh Machnouk told the Financial Times that 25 Beirut hotels had refused to host the event.

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