Saudi Ambassador to Lebanon Ali Awad Asiri is seen in Beirut, Monday, March 5, 2012. (The Daily Star/Mohammad Azakir)
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Saudi Ambassador Ali Awad Asiri said Sunday Dar al-Fatwa should remain neutral and represent the voice of moderation in Lebanon in order to confront the rise of extremist groups in the country, accusing foreign groups of meddling in the Sunni council's affairs.Dar al-Fatwa under Grand Mufti Sheikh Mohammad Rashid Qabbani has been at odds with the Future Movement, Riyadh's ally in Lebanon, after the preacher met with Hezbollah officials on the same day that the Special Tribunal for Lebanon indicted four of members of the party in the 2005 assassination of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri.The two sides have also engaged in disputes over reforms in the Sunni religious body. "Extremism is imported from known organizations and we were affected by this in Saudi Arabia," the ambassador said.He also commented on a recent audio recording by a militant figure in Lebanon who pledged allegiance to the Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS).
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