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Environment Minister Mohammed al-Mashnouq
Environment Minister Mohammed al-Mashnouq

Prime Minister Tammam Salam has asked   Minister  of Environment Mohammed al-Mashnouq instead of Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil to represent him at the Extraordinary Islamic Summit on Palestine end of this week, al-Joumhouria daily reported on Saturday.

“The invitation has been addressed to Salam and he is free to assign any of the ministers,” sources at the Grand Serail told al-Joumhouria .

The sources denied claims that Salam has deliberately excluded Bassil from the event against the backdrop of his latest positions that drew dispute in the Arab Foreign Ministers and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation meetings.

The 5th Extraordinary Islamic Summit on Palestine and al-Quds al-Shareef will be held in Jakarta on Sunday and Monday.

Lebanon’s Foreign Ministry abstained from voting on a statement of Organization of Islamic Cooperation that condemned Iran, in what was described as “in line with Lebanon’s dissociation policy.”

The OIC extraordinary meeting  was requested by Saudi Arabia after protesters in Iran in early January set fire to the embassy in Tehran and a consulate in the  city of Mashhad.

The Foreign Ministry’s stance resulted in the suspension  by Saudi Arabia  of the  $4 billion aid package  to the Lebanese army and security forces, and also  resulted in travel warnings to Lebanon by 5 members of the Arab Gulf countries .

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