Mansour Wants Syria to Retake Arab League Seat but Miqati Holds Onto Dissociation Policyإقرأ هذا الخبر بالعربية
Foreign Minister Adnan Mansour called on Wednesday for scrapping a decision to suspend the membership of Syria from the Arab League, drawing the ire of Prime Minister Najib Miqati.
Mansour called during a meeting of Arab foreign ministers held in Cairo for the "return of the Syrian government to its seat at the Arab League after Arab states failed to resolve the Syrian crisis."
“The decisions of the Arab League contributed to the rise of violence in Syria,” he said as he prepared to hand over the chairmanship of the Arab League Ministerial Council to Egypt.
But Qatar's Foreign Minister, Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jabr al-Thani, snapped back at him, saying Syrian President “Bashar (Assad) is responsible for the bloodshed in Syria.”
Mansour later denied from Cairo that a quarrel had broken out between him and his Qatari counterpart, deeming the Egyptian media claims as an attempt to exaggerate the issue.
In a statement issued by his office following the foreign minister's move, Miqati said: “The Lebanese government is still abiding by the disassociation policy... It's the stance that it took after the Arab League decided to suspend Syria's membership.”
The premier stressed that the government's decision is “still valid.”
Miqati stressed on Monday that “the foreign minister does not express the stance of the government.”
“I don't agree at all with the stance of the foreign minister on Syria,” he said in a TV interview.
The Arab League suspended Syria in November 2011 as a sharp rebuke for Assad's leadership over its brutal crackdown on demonstrators seeking to topple his regime.
It said at the time the suspension would apply until Assad implemented an Arab deal to end violence against protesters.
A year later, the League recognized the Syrian National Coalition headed by Ahmed Moaz al-Khatib as the "legitimate representative and main interlocutor with the Arab League.
Mansour's call will also like draw the anger of President Michel Suleiman.
Al-Mustaqbal movement said Tuesday that Mansour, who is close to the Hizbullah-led March 8 majority alliance, has continuously ignored instructions by Suleiman and Miqati to file an official complaint with the Syrian regime over violations of Lebanon’s sovereignty.
The latest request was made by Miqati over the recent deadly shelling of border villages in the area of Tall Kalakh in the northern district of Akkar.
But Syrian Ambassador Ali Abdul Karim Ali said following talks with Mansour at the foreign ministry that the Syrian army would continue to fire at potential rebel targets in Lebanon.
In December, Suleiman said it was the duty of the Lebanese foreign ministry to respond to accusations made by any diplomat.
Diplomats should abide by the protocol and the foreign ministry should reject being used as a forum for accusations launched against political leaderships that harm the country's sovereignty, he added.