Bassil Thanks Qatar Emir for 'Breaking Siege' on Doha, Beirut Summitإقرأ هذا الخبر بالعربية
Caretaker Foreign Minister Jebran Bassil on Sunday thanked Qatar’s Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani for attending a Beirut economic summit in the absence of the vast majority of Arab leaders.
“We thank the Mauritanian president who traveled for seven hours to attend the summit and we thank Qatar's emir who broke the siege and traveled for five hours to attend it,” Bassil said at a press conference at the end of the summit’s works on Sunday, referring to the embargo that is imposed on Qatar by most Gulf states.
Qatar's ruler had abruptly left for his country after attending the summit for around an hour.
The emir of the tiny yet wealthy and influential Gulf state had suddenly decided Saturday to attend the summit. Media reports said President Michel Aoun called the emir and convinced him to attend.
The other leaders' absence appeared to be a snub to Lebanon, where pro-Syrian groups led by Hibullah had insisted that Syria should be invited.
Separately, Bassil described the summit’s statement on Syrian refugees as a “victory for Lebanon and a solidarity move by the Arab countries towards the hosting countries and their sacrifices.”
And noting that he sensed “responsiveness” during the summit regarding the issue of Syria’s return to the Arab League, Bassil noted that Lebanon has not “communicated” with Syria over this issue.
“We do not know its stance on this issue and we’re only expressing Lebanon’s viewpoint, because Syria’s return to the League is part of its return to the Arab embrace,” Bassil added.
And regretting the absence of Libya, the minister urged the Libyan leadership to “perform all its duties to unveil the fate of Imam Moussa al-Sadr,” noting that the cleric “is not the imam of Shiite Muslims but rather the best role model for coexistence.”