losangelesnewstoday.com
losangelesnewstoday.com December 17, 2017


Lebanon FM refuses to attend Arab summit on Iran

21 November 2017, 12:54 | Katrina Lee

Peter Biro

Peter Biro

"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 Lebanese Republic, in spite of our relations with it as a brotherly Arab nation, is under the total control of this terrorist party", Bahrain's Sheikh Ahmed said, referring to Hizbollah.

They warned Iran not to interfere in the internal affairs of the region and stressed that Tehran should halt its support for Houthi rebels and Hezbollah in Lebanon. Lebanon's Iranian-backed guerrilla group Hezbollah is a key member in Beirut's government, which makes it unlikely for the country to support an anti-Iranian resolution.

Lebanese Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil refused to attend an emergency Arab League summit on Sunday which was requested by Saudi Arabia to discuss "confronting" Iran and Hezbollah, a Lebanese Foreign Ministry source told the French news agency.

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".

While addressing the Arab foreign ministers Arab League Secretary General Ahmed Aboul Gheit said that they will raise the matter with UN Security Council and other global organizations.

Saudi Arabia, a Sunni powerhouse, has significantly sharpened its anti-Iran rhetoric since its forces on November 4 intercepted near its capital, Riyadh, a ballistic missile fired by Shiite rebels in Yemen who are allied with the Iranians. Hariri recently traveled to France from Saudi Arabia, where he had made the announcement.

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Sessions grew angry in response , repeating that he had never lied under oath. Sessions later said he recalled the meeting following news reports about it.

He even went on saying that missile which was sacked by Houthis towards Riyadh was "Iranian made" and called is as an "unacceptable Iranian message".

Yemen's foreign minister told the Arab League in Cairo that "the Iran regime has pushed too far through its proxy, the Houthis, in annihilating Yemenis", SABA reported.

Aoun has accused Saudi Arabia of holding Hariri hostage.

Riyadh and Tehran have for decades stood on opposing sides of conflicts in the Middle East, including Yemen and Syria - where Iran-backed Hizbollah militiamen are fighting alongside forces loyal to Syrian president Bashar Al Assad.

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

The resolution came amid soaring tensions between regional arch-rivals Saudi Arabia and Iran, Shia Hezbollah's backer.

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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