Kuwait’s foreign minister said during a visit to Lebanon, the first by a top Gulf official since the crisis started last year, that Gulf Arab states are working to resolve a deadlock with Lebanon.
“This visit is one of the various international efforts to restore trust with Lebanon,” after conversations with Lebanese Prime Minister Najib Mikati on the first day of a two-day tour, Kuwaiti Foreign Minister Sheikh Ahmed Nasser Al Mohammed Al Sabah said on Saturday.
“We are now taking steps towards building trust … which does not happen overnight,” he told reporters, calling on Lebanese authorities to take “practical and concrete measures” that could bolster ties.
The minister stated that his travel was also intended to express sympathy with the Lebanese people and that it had been planned in conjunction with other Gulf nations.
After the airing of statements by then-Information Minister Georges Kordahi criticizing a Saudi-led military action in Yemen, Saudi Arabia and its allies cut diplomatic ties with Lebanon in October.
Kuwait summoned its ambassador from Beirut and requested that Beirut’s charge d’affaires depart the emirate as well.
Lebanon “should avoid interfering in the internal affairs of Arab states generally, but especially in Gulf internal affairs, and it should not be a launching pad for verbal or actual attacks” if it hopes to enhance relations, Sheikh Ahmed said.
“Now the brothers in Lebanon should study these and know how to deal with these matters and move ahead,” the Kuwaiti official stated, handing the requests to Mikati and his Lebanese colleague Abdallah Bouhabib. He declined to go into detail about the requests.