Miqati Tells Bahrain PM that Aoun Stance Doesn't Reflect Govt. Viewpointإقرأ هذا الخبر بالعربية
Prime Minister Najib Miqati on Sunday telephoned his Bahraini counterpart Sheikh Khalifa bin Salman, stressing that Lebanon respects Bahrain's sovereignty and that the stances voiced by some Lebanese leaders do not reflect the government's official stance.
Miqati expressed to the Bahraini premier “Lebanon's appreciation for Bahrain's leadership and people,” lauding Manama's “pioneering role in the Arab region and the world,” according to a press release issued by his office.
Miqati underlined that “Lebanon respects Bahrain's sovereignty over its territory and the decisions of its leaders and does not interfere in its domestic affairs,” adding that “the stances voiced by Lebanese leaders reflect personal points of view, not the stance of the Lebanese government.”
During the phone conversation, Miqati also agreed with Sheikh Khalifa that he would visit Bahrain soon.
Earlier on Sunday, Miqati commented on the recent controversy that erupted after a criticism by Free Patriotic Movement chief Michel Aoun over lack of international support for protesters in Bahrain, telling reporters that “even Aoun stressed that this was his personal opinion and not that of the government.”
Miqati reiterated that Lebanon holds onto the policy of distancing itself from the regional crises.
“We have excellent ties will all the Gulf countries,” he said.
Aoun's criticism of the international community and the Arab League for lack of support to anti-regime protesters led Bahrain to summon Ibrahim Assaf, the Lebanese charge d'affaires.
The FPM leader's statement to Iran's al-Alam television on Wednesday was considered by Bahrain as an “irresponsible meddling in its internal affairs.”
Undersecretary of Regional and Gulf Cooperation Council Affairs Hamad al-Amer presented Assaf with an official complaint over Aoun's statements, expressing his country's “great condemnation” of the remarks.
Aoun later responded to Bahrain's criticism of his remarks, by saying: “We have our own free opinion and enjoy freedom of speech.”
He told al-Mada Radio on Saturday: “We support the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and Bahrain would incur a lot of criticism if it does not advocate it.”
He noted the “massacres and takfiris” present in Syria, while highlighting the peacefulness of the Bahraini protests.
“One must distinguish between a revolt that massacres and kills its people and another that demands their rights,” the MP said.
The FPM leader had told al-Alam that the demands of the protesters in Bahrain are “fair and justified.”
He criticized the Arab League and international community for failing to support the protests.
Aoun added: “It's unfortunate that a peaceful revolution, which has been oppressed and going on for three years, has not been recognized enough by the world.”