Bassil: PM's Remarks on Us Committing Foreign Policy Mistake Do Not Represent Lebanon, Govt. Policy


Foreign Minister Jebran Bassil hit back Sunday at Prime Minister Tammam Salam over remarks that the minister had committed a “foreign policy mistake” through his stances at the Arab League and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation.

“The prime minister's remarks that we committed a foreign policy mistake do not represent Lebanon or the government's policy,” said Bassil during an interview on al-Jadeed TV, when asked about Salam's remarks to Sky News television.

He noted that “some ministers escalate their rhetoric outside the cabinet and in their remarks to the media as they show softer stances during the cabinet meetings.”

Bassil's remarks come after the rival March 14 camp accused Hizbullah and the minister of sabotaging Lebanon's ties with Saudi Arabia, following a series of Saudi measures against Lebanon.

The measures started on February 19 when the Saudi foreign ministry announced that the kingdom was halting around $4 billion in military aid to the Lebanese army and security forces.

The kingdom later advised its citizens against travel to Lebanon and urged those already in the country to leave it, citing “safety” concerns. The rest of the Arab Gulf countries except for Oman followed suit, issuing similar travel warnings. Around 90 Lebanese citizens have also been fired from their jobs in Saudi Arabia, according to media reports.

Saudi Arabia has linked its move to "hostile Lebanese positions resulting from the stranglehold of Hizbullah on the state" and alleged Hizbullah "terrorist acts against Arab and Muslim nations."

It also attributed the move to Lebanon's refusal to join the Arab League and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation in condemning attacks on Saudi diplomatic missions in Iran last month. Riyadh cut diplomatic ties with Tehran after demonstrators burned its embassy and a consulate following the Saudi execution of a prominent Shiite cleric, Nimr al-Nimr.

Addressing the Saudi leadership on Sunday, Bassil said: “Lebanon is a free country and it suffers from certain weakness, so help it become strong.”

“I'm willing to do anything to serve my country … but others must understand Lebanon's stances,” he added.

He also said he does not mind “communicating with the Saudi foreign minister if the other party is ready for such a move,” noting that the government has “decided to form a ministerial panel headed by the PM in order to visit Riyadh.”


Comments 13
Thumb nickjames 29 February 2016, 00:42

Psh what a joke of a foreign minister. Speaking of "do not represent the government's policy", Hezbollah violated the so-called Baabda Declaration (that "government policy" Hezbollah supposedly agreed to)

Hezbollah supporter to begin arguing "if not for the resistance, Daesh would have invaded Jounieh" in 3...2...1...

Thumb lubnani.masi7i 29 February 2016, 08:24

and Moscow would have been occupied by ISIS had it not been for the Russian intervention in Syria.

Thumb liberty 29 February 2016, 01:43

A thug, a thief, an outlaw.

Missing humble 29 February 2016, 01:51

Well said! He is the heir, the Son in-outlaw...

Missing humble 29 February 2016, 01:59

The word 3ameel says it all.

Missing coolmec 29 February 2016, 02:39

Can anyone explain me why Bassil who failed to be elected MP during the last parliamentary elections, has been a minister in every government formed since the last election???

Thumb popeye 29 February 2016, 03:43

Only Bassil of Iran represents Lebanon and its government. PM Salam does not know what he is talking about. If you have Bassil you don't need Lebanon!

Missing alyanko10452 29 February 2016, 05:45

This guy should be in jail for unsubordination to his boss, the PM.
He is the mafiosi in person.

Missing humble 29 February 2016, 07:58

He sure is a mafiosi.

Default-user-icon the_roar al muhajir. (Guest) 29 February 2016, 08:46

This is the future president of Lebanon, ladies and gentlemen.

Thumb EagleDawn 29 February 2016, 09:55

In every country in the world, there is a minimum height requirement for occupying government jobs except in Lebanon.

Thumb justin 29 February 2016, 13:03

What a useless foreign minister but he does have one supporter troll who keeps voting everybody down. lol

Missing peace 29 February 2016, 19:31

“The prime minister's remarks that we committed a foreign policy mistake do not represent Lebanon or the government's policy,”

and the others say that bassil's stance does not represent Lebanon...

well all in all NO ONE represents Lebanon in that government of crooks and inefficient politicians... not even able to remove trash from the streets, what can we expect concerning foreign Policy! LOL