On Monday, photos of an office with a broken door and a damaged wall at the Lebanese Foreign Ministry made the rounds across media. Since then, new details have surfaced on what actually happened at the ministry.
The relationship between outgoing Foreign Minister Zeina Akar and Foreign Ministry Secretary-General Hani Chemaytelli had already been bad, sources informed on the matter told Nidaa Al-Watan on Tuesday.
Chemaytelli is also known to have had charged relationships with previous ministers, who would mostly avoid clashing with him, the sources pointed out.
What happened in Akar’s case is that upon arriving at the ministry to say her goodbyes and thank the staff for cooperating with her during her time as Foreign Minister, she was prevented from entering by Chemaytelli.
“You are not allowed to enter, or meet with any of the employees or talk to them, except in my office and under my sight,” the secretary-general told Akar, according to the sources.
This prompted Akar’s security detail, comprised of Lebanese Army personnel, to intervene, and the fight ensued.
The story about Chemaytelli refusing to hand Akar her mail is completely false, the sources noted, adding that the outgoing minister had headed to a department to the side of Chemaytelli’s office, and he blocked her from entering.