Lebanon PM tells Bahrain PM to ignore Aoun’s remarks


mikati def 2Prime Minister Najib Mikati telephoned on Sunday his Bahraini counterpart Sheikh Khalifa bin Salman, stressing that Lebanon respects Bahrain’s sovereignty and to ignore the the stances voiced by some Lebanese leaders since they do not reflect the government’s official stance.

Mikati expressed to the Bahraini premier “Lebanon’s appreciation for Bahrain’s leadership and people,” lauding Manama’s “pioneering role in the Arab region and the world,” according to a press release issued by his office.

During the phone conversation, Mikati also agreed with Sheikh Khalifa that he would visit Bahrain soon.

Earlier on Sunday, Mikati commented on the recent controversy that erupted after a criticism by Free Patriotic Movement chief Michel Aoun over lack of international support for protesters in Bahrain, telling reporters that “even Aoun stressed that this was his personal opinion and not that of the government.”

Mikati reiterated that Lebanon holds onto the policy of distancing itself from the regional crises.

“We have excellent ties will all the Gulf countries,” he stressed.

Bahrain on Friday, summoned the Lebanese charge d’affaires at the Lebanese Embassy Ibrahim Assaf over remarks made by Aoun earlier this week, which Bahrain considered “irresponsible meddling in its internal affairs.”

Aoun had told al-Alam last Wednesday that the demands of the protesters in Bahrain are “fair and justified.”

He criticized the Arab League and international community for failing to support the protests in Bahrain.

Aoun added: “It’s unfortunate that a peaceful revolution, which has been oppressed and going on for three years, has not been recognized enough by the world.”

Aoun is closely associated with Hezbollah militant group which has been supporting the uprising against the monarchy in Bahrain.

Hezbollah chief Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah saluted the Bahraini revolution on Saturday during a televised speech

Bahrain’s Information Minister Samira Rajab accused Hezbollah on Saturday, of “extremism” and “terrorism,” describing it as a “terrorist militia.”

Ties between Lebanon and Bahrain reached an all-time low in 2011 when Nasrallah slammed the crackdown on the protesters.

His remarks prompted the Bahraini authorities to suspend the flights of Gulf Air and Bahraini Air between Manama and Beirut for several months.