BEIRUT: Prime Minister Tammam Salam’s remarks on the Saudi military intervention in Yemen at the Arab League summit two days ago do not represent the views of the Lebanese government, Industry Minister Hussein Hajj Hasan said Monday.
The premier’s position towards the intervention during the Arab League summit in Sharm el-Sheikh Saturday “justified... an aggression” against the Yemeni people, the Hezbollah minister said in a statement released by his party's media office.
He also criticized Salam for offering support to the Egyptian proposal to create a joint Arab force to counter terrorism.
“These two positions were not discussed in the Cabinet,” Hajj Hasan said. “Salam’s remarks express the position of a portion of the Lebanese and do not reflect Lebanon’s official position.”
The industry minister noted that he would raise his objections to Salam’s comments during the next Cabinet meeting scheduled for Thursday.
Salam offered an ambiguous position towards the Saudi-led military intervention in Yemen targeting opposition Houthi fighters during the Arab League summit Saturday, saying Beirut supported any move that preserves Sanaa's “sovereignty and territorial integrity.”
“Out of its keenness on supporting constitutional legitimacy in Yemen, Arab unanimity and the unity and stability of all Arab states, Lebanon announces its support for any Arab stance that preserves Yemen’s sovereignty and territorial integrity in addition to the cohesion of its social fabric,” Salam told the summit.
Hajj Hasan's comments come three days after Hezbollah chief Hasan Nasrallah delivered a fiery speech in which he denounced Saudi Arabia for its military campaign in Yemen.