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Bassil from Cairo: We succeeded in preserving Lebanon's unity without sabotaging Arab consensus

BEIRUT |, with agencies - January 11, 2016, 09h41
Photo: National News Agency

Foreign Affairs and Expatriates Minister, Gebran Bassil, indicated Sunday that Lebanon has "refrained from voting for the Arab Foreign Ministers final decision at the closing of its meeting in Cairo," adding that the Lebanese delegation also objected to, and demanded the elimination of, the statement's mentioning of "Hezbollah" and linking it to "terrorist acts."

"We have succeeded in maintaining our unity, without causing any sabotage to the Arab consensus," said Bassil, on emerging from the Arab Summit meeting earlier today.

Top Arab diplomats rallied behind Saudi Arabia on Sunday in a dispute with Iran that has threatened to derail efforts to resolve Middle East conflicts, including the war in Syria.

After meeting in Cairo for emergency talks upon Riyadh's request, Arab League foreign ministers issued a joint statement denouncing the "hostile acts and provocations of Iran" in said dispute, a decision which Lebanon refrained from voting for.

Arab foreign ministers expressed support for Saudi's "efforts in the fight against terrorism and its role in promoting security and stability in the region," while condemning "Iran's aggressive rhetoric and incitement against Saudi Arabia with regards to the implementation of judicial decrees against a number of terrorists, and its continued interferences in the internal affairs of Arab countries over the past decades."

Following the vote, Gebran Bassil stated that "We came to Cairo to express solidarity with the Saudi Kingdom against the attacks on its embassy and consulate in Tehran".

He added: "Our participation comes in line with our commitment to international agreements and our rejection of any violation against the sanctity of diplomatic or consulate missions, as well as our commitment to Article 8 of the Arab League Charter which prohibits interference in the internal affairs of any state."

"Lebanon has adopted its governmental decision to distance itself from the surrounding crises, by simply expressing its solidarity stand alongside the Saudi Kingdom without taking part in the Arab decision-voting, giving priority to our internal national unity which remains the most important," concluded Bassil.

#Iran, #SaudiArabia
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