Lebanon and Iraq tried to contain a dispute between Lebanese security forces and Iraqi students at the Lebanese Ministry of Education building on Thursday.
The two sides, under the auspices of the Lebanese government, reached a mechanism to end all problems and facilitate the process of equalizing the certificates of Iraqi students studying in Lebanon.
Videos on social media showed an argument between the Lebanese security forces and a number of Iraqi students, who came to the Ministry of Education to complete some paperwork. In one of the videos, a member of security appeared to hold a metal pole and ask a student to step back.
Despite the Ministry of Education’s explanations, the videos sparked widespread outrage and calls on the Lebanese government to take action.
On Friday, a delegation from the Iraqi Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research met with caretaker Lebanese Prime Minister Najib Mikati.
Iraqi Academic Dr. Alaa Al-Zoghbi said the delegation presented the premier a set of proposals, noting that an agreement was reached to adopt an official mechanism signed by the two countries’ relevant authorities
Hundreds of Iraqi students pursue their studies at Lebanese universities. The Pre-University Equivalency Department at the Lebanese Ministry of Education says that it has received, over the course of a year, about 6,000 Iraqi equivalency applications.
The Lebanese Ministry of Education denied that an assault had taken place against the Iraqi students on Thursday morning.
Caretaker Minister of Education Abbas Al-Halabi announced that the ministry guards were surprised by some 100 Iraqi students who had showed up at the ministry at 5:30 am on Thursday.
They clashed over the right to enter the building before the official opening hours.
He added that the guards tried to calm them down after the noise disturbed locals in the area.