Bassil Laments Libya's Beirut Summit Boycott in Letter to Counterpartإقرأ هذا الخبر بالعربية
Caretaker Foreign Minister Jebran Bassil on Monday voiced regret over Libya's decision to boycott Beirut's upcoming Arab economic summit, in a letter he addressed to his Libyan counterpart.
Bassil also “categorically rejected” the acts in Beirut that have “targeted the State of Libya and its participation,” noting that they “do not reflect” his stance or that of Lebanon.
He also stressed his keenness on the ties between the two countries and the need to “put them on the right track,” while underscoring that “Lebanon will not at all relinquish its national duty to unveil the date of disappeared Imam Moussa al-Sadr and his two companions” in order to “resolve this case which has strained ties between the two countries for more than four decades.”
Earlier in the day, Libyan Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj confirmed that Libya has officially decided to boycott Beirut's summit in protest at the flag incident and the reported barring of Libyan businessmen from entering Lebanon.
Libya’s High Council of State has also demanded the severing of ties with Lebanon over the flag incident.
On Sunday, supporters of the AMAL Movement replaced a Libyan flag with their movement’s flag near the Seaside Arena venue in Beirut in protest at the invitation of Libya to the summit. They also removed another flag in the Zaytunay Bay area.
Tensions have surged in recent days over the issue of Libya’s participation.
AMAL accuses the former regime of slain Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi of kidnapping its revered founder Imam Moussa al-Sadr during a visit to Libya in 1978.
The case has strained Libyan-Lebanese ties for the past four decades and in recent days the invitation and talk of the possibility of freeing Gadhafi’s son Hannibal from Lebanese prisons have deepened tensions between AMAL and Bassil's Free Patriotic Movement.