Lebanon News

Lebanese parties must not take sides in Yemen: Bassil

Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil speaks during a press conference in Beirut, Thursday, May 29, 2014 (TDS/Mohammad Azakir)

BEIRUT: The Lebanese government does not wish Hezbollah or the Future Movement to side with either party in the Yemen conflict, Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil has said.

“We don’t wish to see Hezbollah fighting with the Houthis or see anyone from the Future Movement fighting alongside the Saudis," Bassil said in an interview with Al-Jadeed Sunday night.

“I’m not expressing my personal opinion, but that of the [Lebanese] state that I represent," he said.

Bassil reiterated Lebanon’s stance which called for support for any decision that preserves Sanaa’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.

A summit of Arab leaders said Sunday that Saudi-led airstrikes in Yemen will continue until Houthi rebels there “withdraw and surrender their weapons.”

Bassil, however, insisted there was no “consensus” but a “majority” vote on the Arab League decision to create a joint military force.

A summit resolution said the force would be deployed at the request of any Arab nation facing a national security threat and that it would also be used to combat terrorist groups.

Bassil had accompanied Prime Minister Tammam Salam to the Arab League summit held in the Egyptian resort city of Sharm el-Sheikh over the weekend.

Salam avoided taking a stance during the summit to either support or reject the Saudi-led military intervention in Yemen, in a move apparently designed to avert a split within Cabinet.

Lebanon, Salam stressed, backs any decision that preserves Sanaa’s sovereignty and territorial integrity and the creation of “a joint Arab force to fight terrorism and safeguard pan-Arab security.”

 

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