Berri in Kuwait: Our People Drawing Lessons from Past, Won't Sacrifice Lebanon on Altar of Tensionsإقرأ هذا الخبر بالعربية
Speaker Nabih Berri hailed on Sunday the “ongoing initiatives” by the Gulf state of Kuwait to support Lebanon, voicing hope that Muslims would consolidate ties.
Berri, who is currently in Kuwait on a two-day visit, discussed with the Emir of Kuwait Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmed al-Sabah and Crown Prince Sheikh Nawaf al-Ahmed al-Sabah the conditions of the Syrian and Palestinian refugees in Lebanon.
Lebanon is struggling under the weight of nearly one million Syrian refugees, who are testing its already limited resources.
Berri expressed hope that the Islamic Republic of Iran and the Gulf countries, in particular Saudi Arabia, would rectify their ties, pointing out that this matter will have a positive impact on the region.
Kuwait is a member of the Gulf Cooperation Council led by oil powerhouse Saudi Arabia, which has long viewed Iran as a regional rival.
Iran is a key ally of Syrian President Bashar Assad's regime, while Saudi Arabia backs the Sunni-led rebellion.
Besides Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, the GCC groups Bahrain, Oman, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates.
Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif visited four Gulf states in December, skipping Saudi Arabia and Bahrain, and called for opening a new page in relations with the Sunni-ruled bloc.
Berri also called on Kuwaiti authorities to remove the travel ban to Lebanon.
Kuwait had previously advised its citizens avoid travel to Lebanon and its nationals currently present in the country to leave due to the unstable security situation.
For his party, the Emir of Kuwait stressed that his country is keen to “put all its potential to assist and support Lebanon in various fields.”
Berri also held talks with Kuwaiti Prime Minister Sheikh Jaber Mubarak al-Sabah in presence of Lebanon's ambassador to Kuwait Khodor al-Halwi.
The speaker later met with his Kuwaiti counterpart Marzouq al-Ghanim.
“We stress to you that our people are drawing lessons from the past and won't offer Lebanon as a sacrifice on the altar of tensions and the settling of scores, especially after the cabinet was formed following a strenuous process,” Berri said at a joint press conference after the meeting.
Berri was expected to kick off on Friday a tour on several Arab and European countries but he delayed his visit until the cabinet was formed.
On Saturday, PM Salam unveiled a compromise government, capping nearly 11 months of political wrangling.
The tour began in Kuwait and is expected to include the Islamic Republic of Iran, Germany and Albania.