Lebanon News

Saudi envoy denounces Nasrallah’s speech as ‘slanderous’

Saudi Ambassador to Lebanon Ali Awad Asiri attends a ceremony in Beirut, Wednesday, June 4, 2014. (The Daily Star/Mahmoud Kheir)

BEIRUT: Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah’s latest speech was full of slander and false accusations, Saudi Arabia’s Ambassador to Lebanon Ali Awad Asiri said Sunday.

“The speech made by Hezbollah’s General Secretary Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah expressed the confusion experienced by the sides he represents [Iran], and contained a lot of slander and false allegations against the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia,” Asiri said in a statement.

He said Nasrallah words "aimed to distort facts and mislead public opinion.”

Nasrallah’s heated speech Friday slammed Saudi Arabia for the recent military campaign against the Houthis in Yemen.

“The same side supporting Sayyed Nasrallah and directing the Houthis does not want good for Yemen and has been behind obstructing all agreements and pushing the security situation in the country toward escalation and deterioration,” Asiri said, in reference to Iran.

“We wish some sides would emulate the wisdom of the kingdom’s leaders.”

Nasrallah had also dismissed accusations that Iran was blocking the election of a Lebanese president that isn't supported by Tehran, saying the side responsible for the disruption was Saudi Arabia.

“The Saudis have proven that they do not speak two languages,” Asiri responded. “And its officials have announced several times that the Lebanese presidency is a pure Lebanese matter and that it [Saudi Arabia] does not engage in the game of nominations and candidates, but rather supports whoever is agreed upon by the Lebanese.”

Nasrallah contended in his speech that the presidential election crisis was due to a veto by Saudi Foreign Minister Saud Faisal against the candidacy of FPM chief Michel Aoun.

Asiri stressed that Nasrallah’s claim was false, saying the purpose behind the allegation was to “throw ash in the eyes and escape from responsibility.”

Lebanon has been without president since May 25 of last year, when former President Michel Sleiman left office at the end of his term.





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