Among the countries boycotting the Warsaw summit is Lebanon. Beirut’s decision not to attend was announced by the Lebanese Foreign minister Gebran Bassil, during a joint press conference with his Iranian counterpart, Mohammad Javad Zarif. While the Lebanese top diplomat cited his country’s policy of disassociation from regional conflicts as the reason; Lebanese sources revealed to TV7 that the growing Iranian influence in the country was the main motivation behind the Foreign Minister’s decision.
Meanwhile, Iranian Foreign Minister Zarif left Beirut last night, after conducting a series of meetings with top Lebanese officials. Among others, Zarif expressed Iran’s support for the new Lebanese government, despite its leader, Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri, who is backed by the Islamic Republic’s arch rival, Saudi Arabia. During a meeting with his Lebanese counterpart, the Iranian Foreign minister announced his country’s readiness to provide Lebanon with military support, with the specific aim of confronting the country’s southern neighbor – Israel. In response to the offer, the Lebanese Foreign Minister said Beirut would embrace it, as long as the support is unconditional. According to Gebran Bassil, “All the aid to our troops and organizations must be unconditional. As long as it can enhance the strengthen of our country and government organizations, we should embrace it.”