Libya summit: Lebanon may attend with low level delegation


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Lebanon is under pressure to participate in the Arab League summit in Libya scheduled for March 27-28 . Several countries ( including Syria, Saudi Arabia and Turkey) in addition to the Arab League are trying to mediate this participation.

According to local reports Lebanon may decide to send a lower level delegation headed by Khaled Ziade the Ambassador to Egypt and Arab League , to attend the summit.

The cabinet is reportedly planning to discuss this issue and make a final decision during its Wednesday session at the Baabda palace.

Arab League chief Amr Moussa highlighted the importance of Lebanon’s participation so that the Arab League summit could come out with resolutions that promote solidarity and joint Arab action.

According to An Nahar newspaper , instructions were given Monday to Lebanon’s Charge d’Affaires to Libya Nazih Ashour to travel to the Libyan province of Sirte to be close, but not part of, the preparatory meetings of the summit.

It appears that Lebanon was singled out by Libya as the only country whose top leader did not receive directly an invitation to the summit.

The protocol dictates that the invitation should be personally delivered to the president of the Republic of Lebanon , Michel Suleiman

President Suleiman stated last week that he does not intend to attend the summit.

Libya has been playing games with the invitations .

Libya first sent the invitation to the Lebanese Ambassador to Syria Michel Khoury. However, upon instructions by the Lebanese Foreign Ministry the Embassy in Damascus rejected the invitation.

“The invitation was received by the Lebanese embassy in Damascus, which is not authorized to receive and respond to this invitation for administrative reasons,” the Lebanese Foreign ministry said in a statement.

Arab League Secretary General Moussa intervened and then Libya delivered the official invitation to Lebanon’s Arab League representative .

The Shiite community in Lebanon spearheaded by Speaker Nabih Berri has demanded that Lebanon should boycott the summit.

Shiites have been demanding the boycott of the summit because of the disappearance of Shiite Imam Moussa al-Sadr. In 1978 Sadr , who was the founder of the Amal Movement flew to Tripoli for a week of talks with Libyan officials but disappeared while he was there.