Lebanon FM refuses to attend Arab summit on Iran

Nov 21, 2017, 00:54
Lebanon FM refuses to attend Arab summit on Iran

"Lebanon has a special character, a particular and special structure".

Tehran dismissed on Monday the Arab League's statement, saying it was "worthless", the ISNA news agency reported.

The ministers, according to the final statement, said they supported any action to be taken by Saudi Arabia to protect its national security, within the boundaries of worldwide legitimacy.

Abul Gheit also met parliament speaker Nabih Berri and will attend a conference organised by the United Nations' Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA).

Lebanon FM refuses to attend Arab summit on Iran
Lebanon FM refuses to attend Arab summit on Iran

"It did not attack anyone, and it therefore shouldn't pay the price for these conflicts with its political stability or security", he said. In Lebanon he heads up a government of national unity that includes Hezbollah, an ally of Saudi rival Iran.

Iran has denied these charges and, despite Saudi Arabia being backed by the overwhelming majority of the Arab League, Lebanese Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil and Iraqi Foreign Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari boycotted the session.

In the meeting's concluding statement, they pledged to hold Hezbollah "responsible for supporting terrorism and terrorist organisations in Arab countries with modern weapons and ballistic missiles".

In what is perhaps the only concrete measure, the ministers said Arab telecommunications satellites would ban Iranian-financed television stations for what they said was their fomenting of sectarian and ethnic tensions and because they posed a threat to Arab security.

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"The decision of the Arab League on Iranian intervention today was historical and sends a clear message on the effectiveness of joint Arab action", Dr Anwar Gargash, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, said late on Sunday.

The two regional powers - Saudi Arabia and Iran - have made Syria another battleground in their proxy war between Sunnis and Shiites.

The shock announcement sparked worries that Lebanon would be caught up in the spiralling tensions between Riyadh and Tehran, which back opposing political and armed groups across the region.

Hariri is now in Paris, where he arrived on Saturday after spending 13 says in Saudi Arabia. He said he would take part in Lebanese independence day celebrations, which are scheduled for Wednesday.

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Lebanese President Michel Aoun has said he will not accept Hariri's resignation until it is delivered in person and all sides in Beirut have called for his speedy return.

A source close to Hariri said that meeting aimed to "continue the series of Arab and global consultations".

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