Lebanese in Guinea, not believed to be at risk after bloodless coup

24Dec08

1230072974_209Lebanese Expatriates living in the West African country of Guinea are not believed to be at risk after an attempted coup which followed the death of the country’s president on Tuesday.

President Lansana Conte’s death was announced at around 2 a.m, on Tuesday morning.

Lebanese Foreign Minister Fawzi Salloukh told The Daily Star that he was expecting “a change of regime” in Guinea, but was not unduly concerned about the safety of Lebanese nationals living in the mineral-rich state. “The situation in Guinea is calm, and we didn’t receive any reports of unrest,” he said. “This is a very bloodless coup.”

Salloukh said he was in touch with members of the Lebanese community in the country, and urged them to “take precautions,” against becoming caught up in any unrest. “They should stay at home and abide by the laws of the country,” he said. “We are keeping an eye on the situation.

Guinea is a major exporter of bauxite and other minerals, and many Lebanese are employed in the country’ mining industry.

The European Union urged all parties to exercise restraint, calling for political and military leaders to “respect constitutional measures to ensure a peaceful transition” via elections, and the US said it wanted a “democratic transition,” in Guinea.
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