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Mansour: Lebanon will reaffirm its disassociation policy at U.N.
Foreign Minister Adnan Mansour attends a meeting at the Interior Ministry in Beirut, Tuesday, Aug. 21, 2012. (The Daily Star/Mohammad Azakir)
Foreign Minister Adnan Mansour attends a meeting at the Interior Ministry in Beirut, Tuesday, Aug. 21, 2012. (The Daily Star/Mohammad Azakir)
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BEIRUT: Foreign Affairs Minister Adnan Mansour said over the weekend that Lebanon will hold fast to its policy of disassociation from events in Syria during the U.N. General Assembly session scheduled for this week. “Since the beginning of the events in Syria, Lebanon has had a clear position – to not interfere in others’ affairs, and the Syrian situation in particular. Therefore, we have disassociated ourselves from decisions about Syria,” Mansour told reporters at Beirut airport prior to his departure for New York.

“It’s the right policy for Lebanon’s national unity, security and stability,” he added.

Despite criticism from the opposition March 14 coalition, Prime Minister Najib Mikati’s Cabinet has maintained the policy of disassociation it adopted last year in the face of the uprising against Syrian President Bashar Assad.

Lebanon’s political arena is divided between the March 14 coalition, which supports the Syrian uprising, and the Hezbollah-led March 8 alliance, which backs the regime.

Mansour added that a series of meetings to accompany Tuesday’s General Assembly session will tackle issues concerning Lebanon and the Arab world.

He said that Mikati, who is heading the delegation, will hold meetings with several international officials that will focus on current events.

“On the sidelines, I will have meetings with several foreign affairs ministers of Arab and foreign countries.

“We will discuss bilateral relations and other issues that concern the region, particularly the events in Syria and the Arab situation as a whole,” Mansour said.

Media reports have indicated that Mikati’s speech at the General Assembly will affirm his government’s policy of disassociating Lebanon from the 18-month-old crisis in Syria.

The prime minister will reportedly ask the international community to help Lebanon aid tens of thousands of displaced Syrians on its soil who escaped the violence in their home country.

As for Mansour’s call for the Arab League to hold an emergency meeting aimed at discussing a film insulting the Prophet Mohammad, the minister told reporters that Arab foreign affairs ministers might meet in New York to discuss the issue.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on September 24, 2012, on page 4.
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