Cairo: Arab foreign ministers Saturday met for consultative talks in Lebanon, which is experiencing economic woes.
The talks, held at a hotel in Beirut, discussed preparations for an Arab summit due to be held in Algeria in November, an Arab League official said.
“The conferees expressed support and solidarity with Lebanon, but no side issues were put forward,” added Hossam Zaki, the organisation’s assistant head, according to the Lebanese official news agency.
The ministers also met Lebanese President Michel Aoun who hoped for Arab help for his country to handle its challenges, according to the agency.
“Lebanon, which is facing a series of accumulated crises, is also suffering from burdens resulting from large numbers of refugees on its land,” Aoun said. “It [Lebanon] is no longer capable of this reality. The international community’s stance does not encourage finding quick solutions. We hope you will help in confronting these challenges,” he told the ministers at a meeting in the presidential palace.
Lebanon is in the grip of its worst economic crisis in decades, sending the value of the local currency to nosedive.
Arab League head Ahmed Abul Gheit said the talks in the Lebanese capital are significant, stressing Arab backing for Lebanon. “Hope is that this beautiful country with its long history will overcome its economic and political problems,” the top diplomat said.
“Our meeting in Beirut reflects confidence in Lebanon’s stability and future,” he added.
The meeting was held a few months after an end to a diplomatic row between the Gulf countries and Lebanon.
Last year, Lebanon’s then information minister George Kurdahi made remarks supporting Yemen’s Iran-aligned Houthi rebels. Kurdahi resigned in December amid efforts to defuse the crisis.