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Iran Blasts Hale’s Remarks… Bassil, Lavrov Discuss Return of Refugees

Iran Blasts Hale’s Remarks… Bassil, Lavrov Discuss Return of Refugees

Wednesday, 16 January, 2019 - 11:45
Prime Minister-designate Saad al-Hariri during his meeting with the Iranian ambassador to Lebanon (Dalati & Nohra)
Beirut- Nazeer Rida
The Iranian Embassy in Lebanon on Tuesday strongly criticized what it described as the US intervention in the affairs of Lebanon and the region.

“Within the context of the provocative visits conducted lately by several US officials (...), the US Under-Secretary of State for Political Affairs, David Hale, issued a series of stances that can only be within the context of blatant interference in the affairs of others and dictating decisions.”

After his meeting with Lebanese officials, Hale said that his country was going on with its efforts to counter Iran’s dangerous activities in the region, including the financing of Hezbollah in Lebanon.

The Iranian embassy’s statement against the US was preceded by a visit by the Iranian ambassador in Beirut to Prime Minister-designate Saad al-Hariri. The meeting discussed the latest developments in Lebanon and the region and means to strengthen bilateral relations between the two countries. Sources with knowledge of the matter told Asharq Al-Awsat that it was a “protocol visit by the new ambassador”, who was appointed in August.

During the meeting, Hariri handed the Iranian ambassador a memorandum addressed to Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, demanding the release of Lebanese prisoner Nizar Zakka.

Meanwhile, Minister of Foreign Affairs in the caretaker government, Gebran Bassil, received on Tuesday a phone call from his Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov. Talks focused on the importance of preserving stability and security, by dissociating the country from regional conflicts.

The two officials also touched on the Syrian crisis and the return of refugees to their homeland. Lavrov emphasized Russia’s constant support to facilitate the return process.

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