Kuwait’s foreign minister said yesterday Lebanon must not be a platform for hostile acts or words, an indirect call for curbs on the Hezbollah in order to improve strained ties.
Kuwaiti Foreign Minister Sheikh Ahmad Nasser al-Mohamed al-Sabah spoke after meeting President Michel Aoun in Beirut, during the first visit to Beirut by a senior Gulf Arab official since a diplomatic rift last year.
Sheikh Ahmad said on Saturday he had delivered confidence-building proposals to Prime Minister Najib Mikati, and that his trip was co-ordinated with Gulf states.
“We asked that Lebanon not be a platform for any aggression — verbal or actual,” Sheikh Ahmad said after meeting Aoun. “I presented ideas and thoughts...And we are awaiting a response,” he added. Diplomatic sources told Reuters that among the 12-point proposals was that Lebanon commits to the 1989 Taif Agreement that ended Lebanon’s civil war, tightens border controls to prevent drug smuggling to the Gulf and steps up security co-operation.
The Gulf initiative expressed hope that Beirut will respond by end of the month during a meeting of Arab foreign ministers in Kuwait.
Lebanon’s ties have long been strained by the influence of the Hezbollah, and were plunged into a new crisis in October by comments from a former Lebanese minister criticising forces fighting the Houthi movement in Yemen.
Aoun, a political ally of Hezbollah, said in a tweet yesterday Lebanon was keen on maintaining “the best relations” with the Gulf states and that the Kuwaiti proposals would be discussed before an appropriate position was announced.
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