BEIRUT: Caretaker Prime Minister Najib Mikati would not rule out Thursday Lebanon taking part in the expected Geneva 2 conference aimed at a political settlement to the crisis in Syria.
“I do not rule out the possibility that Lebanon may take part in the Geneva II conference on Syria,” Mikati told reporters following a security meeting at Baabda Palace.
“We will continue to respect [Lebanon’s] policy of disassociation,” he added.
Mikati said that once the invitation to the Geneva conference is officially handed to Lebanon, Beirut would look into it “and Lebanon should be represented in the conference and it is important for the country to be present there.”
He also said that although Lebanon has always been committed to the self-disassociation policy, “the Syrian crisis did not disassociate itself from Lebanon.”
Mikati spoke after a meeting headed by President Michel Sleiman to discuss the security situation in the country, particularly in the northern city of Tripoli where supporters and opponents of Assad have fought in deadly clashes since Monday evening.
The clashes in Tripoli erupted after Assad appeared during a television interview.
Several officials, including Arab League chief Nabil Elaraby, have said they expect Geneva II to convene on Nov. 23, though the U.S., Russia and the United Nations have all said no date has been officially set.
Lebanon adopted a self-disassociation from the conflict in Syria soon after the crisis began in its neighbor more than two years ago.
However, Lebanon remains divided over the crisis, with rival political camps in the country backing opposing sides in Syria.
In May, Hezbollah Secretary-General Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah announced his party was military involved in Syria on the side of forces loyal to President Bashar Assad against rebels seeking to topple the Syrian leader. Lebanon’s March 14, on the other hand, has voiced moral support to the uprising against Assad.