BEIRUT

Lebanon News

PM criticizes Mansour over Syria remarks

Prime Minister Najib Mikati heads a Cabinet session at the Grand Serail in Beirut, Lebanon, Wednesday, March 21, 2012. (The Daily Star/Mohammad Azakir)

BEIRUT: Prime Minister Najib Mikati criticized Wednesday Foreign Affairs Minister Adnan Mansour's call for the Arab League to reinstate Syria as a member of the regional organization, reiterating that his Cabinet was committed to the policy of disassociation.

“The Lebanese government is still committed to the policy of disassociation from events in Syria and this is the same stance it took when the decision to suspend Syria’s membership was issued by the Arab League," Mikati said, in a statement from his office.

During a meeting in Cairo, Mansour called on the Arab League to reinstate Syria as a member of the organization in order to help find a political solution to the bloody conflict in Lebanon’s neighbor. Damascus' Arab League membership was suspended in November 2011.

Mikati's remarks signal that Mansour acted alone and that the foreign minister’s decision did not receive the unanimous approval of the Lebanese Cabinet.

The Lebanese prime minister said his government’s policy of dissociation was still in effect on the basis of the so-called "Baabda Declaration" that rival Lebanese leaders agreed to during a National Dialogue session in 2012.

A sharp divide over the crisis in Syria dominates Lebanese politics.

Mansour has on several occasions been accused by Lebanon’s opposition of acting individually without the approval of the Cabinet.

He has also come under attack by the opposition for his close ties with Syria’s envoy to Lebanon.

In a statement Tuesday, the Future Movement said Mansour had continuously ignored the president and the prime minister's instructions to file an official complaint to authorities in Damascus over Syrian violations of Lebanon’s sovereignty.

 

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