Sun. May 29th, 2022

The Kuwaiti minister says Lebanon should not interfere in Gulf state affairs to improve relations.

Arab Gulf states are looking for a fight with Lebanon, Kuwait’s foreign minister said during a visit, the first by a senior Gulf official since the struggle broke out last year.

“This visit is one of several international efforts to restore confidence with Lebanon,” Foreign Minister Sheikh Ahmed Nasser Al Mohammed Al Sabah said on Saturday after talks with Lebanese Prime Minister Najib Mikati at the start of a two-day conference. travel.

“We are now taking steps to build trust … which is not happening overnight,” he told reporters, calling on Lebanese authorities to take “practical and concrete measures” that could strengthen ties.

The minister said his visit was also to show solidarity with the Lebanese people, and that the move was coordinated with other Gulf countries.

In October, Saudi Arabia and its allies diplomatic ties suspended with Lebanon after airing comments by then-Information Minister Georges Kordahi criticize A Saudi-led military intervention in Yemen.

Kuwait recalled its ambassador from Beirut and also asked Beirut’s charges to leave the emirate.

Lebanon “should avoid interfering in the domestic affairs of Arab states in general, but especially in the Gulf domestic affairs, and it should not be a launching pad for verbal or actual attacks” if he hopes to improve ties, Sheikh Ahmed said said.

The Kuwaiti official said he had given the demands to Mikati and his Lebanese counterpart, Abdallah Bouhabib, and “now the brothers in Lebanon need to study it and know how to handle these matters and move forward”. He declined to elaborate on what the claims are.

Last month, Kordahi resigned in an effort to ease the struggle and French President Emmanuel Macron said Paris and Riyadh had agreed to become fully involved in restoring diplomatic ties.

In the weeks following Kordahi’s resignation, tensions between Hezbollah and Saudi Arabia continued to rise. The crisis is rooted in Saudi Arabia’s unrest over Iran’s growing influence in the region, including in Lebanon, once a traditional Saudi ally and recipient of financial assistance from the oil – rich kingdom.

In late December, Saudi Arabia’s King Salman appealed to the Lebanese in a speech “to end the terrorist Hezbollah’s control” of Lebanon.

In early January, Iranian-backed Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah launched a verbal attack against the kingdom, and accused Riyadh of spreading “extremist Islamic ideology”.

The Gulf dispute has exacerbated an already dire economic situation in Lebanon, which is in the grip of a financial crisis branded by the World Bank as one of the planet’s worst in modern times.

More than 300,000 Lebanese live in Arab Gulf states, which provide a major economic lifeline, according to the Gulf labor markets and migration think tank.

Lebanese governments have long declared an official policy of dissociation from wars in the Middle East, even though Hezbollah became involved in regional conflicts and deployed fighters to Syria to help President Bashar al-Assad.

Sheikh Ahmed said dissociation should be “in word and deed”.

He is expected to meet with President Michel Aoun and Speaker Nabih Berri, both Hezbollah political allies, on Sunday.

Aoun and Mikati called for dialogue with Saudi Arabia to resolve the diplomatic crisis.

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