BEIRUT: Lebanon has proved to be stable despite difficulties, U.K. Under-Secretary of State for the Middle East and North Africa Alistair Burt said in remarks published Monday.
Lebanon, he said, has proved “really stable” during the current unrest due to the efforts of Prime Minister Najib Mikati’s government, which has resisted attempts to drag the country into sectarian strife.
In his interview with pan-Arab Al-Hayat newspaper, Burt acknowledged that a difficult situation exists in Lebanon but ruled out the return to the days of violence.
With regard to Iranian interference in Lebanon, Syria, Bahrain and Iraq, the British minister stressed that there is a struggle between the Iranians and other countries over “influence” in the region.
He said Britain believes that the influence must be exercised for the good of the region's people, and by working hand in hand in the areas of labor, trade and economy as well as through the support of governments that are experiencing transition, such as Yemen.
Burt said it is clear that Iran is under a lot of criticism and said the U.K. strongly condemns any activities that undermine stability and security in the region.
He said Britain also believes that Iran should not exercise any pressure that could lead to instability in Lebanon.
Burt admitted that his country is “very concerned” over Tehran’s hostile activities, particularly in Syria.