Advertisement

Major powers to push Saudis, Iran to stop interfering in Lebanon

Major powers to push Saudis, Iran to stop interfering in Lebanon
From Reuters - December 7, 2017

PARIS (Reuters) - Major powers will try to shore up Lebanons stability on Friday by pushing Saudi Arabia and Iran to stop interfering in its politics, and urging Hezbollah to rein in its regional activities, diplomats said.

Lebanon plunged into crisis on Nov. 4 when Saad al-Hariri resigned as prime minister while he was in Saudi Arabia, saying he feared assassination and criticizing the Saudis regional arch-rival Iran along with its Lebanese ally Hezbollah.

After international pressure and negotiations between Lebanese political factions, he rescinded his resignation on Tuesday and his coalition government, which includes Hezbollah, reaffirmed a state policy of staying out of conflicts in Arab states.

The International Lebanon Support Group (GIS), a body that includes the five members of the U.N. Security Council - Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States - meets in Paris on Friday to try to reinforce Hariris hand to prevent a new escalation.

At a moment of great international tension ... we need to send the message of sovereignty, stability and security to all the Lebanese sides, its partners and those who have an influence in the country, said a senior French diplomat, whose country played a key role in helping Hariri return to Beirut.

We need to de-escalate the situation in the region and believe the effort needs to start with Lebanon because its a country where all actors can compromise and through that show a path to negotiations elsewhere, he said.

Saudi concern over the influence wielded by Shiite Muslim Iran and Hezbollah in other Arab states had been widely seen as the root cause of the crisis, which raised fears for Lebanons economic and political stability.

Advertisement

Continue reading at Reuters »