BEIRUT — Lebanese Prime Minister Najib Mikati arrived in Qatar Friday to participate in the Doha Forum, where he met with Kuwait Foreign Minister Sheikh Ahmad Nasser al-Mohammad Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah. Afterward the minister welcomed Mikati’s statements on re-establishing Lebanon’s ties with the Gulf Cooperation Council after a meeting, the state-run National News Agency reported.
Here’s what we know:
• The Kuwaiti minister said a “sustainable relationship” would be facilitated if Lebanon were not “a platform for any verbal or concrete aggression or for anything to come out of Lebanon that would jeopardize the region’s safety and stability,” a reference to Hezbollah, whose arsenal has been in the crosshairs of the GCC and the international community as a whole.
• The Kuwaiti minister added that he had told the relevant authorities about the Lebanese government’s “commitment to respect the Kuwaiti document and legitimate international decisions,” a reference to a set of proposals he’d delivered to the Lebanese government during an official visit in January.
• The Lebanese prime minister also met with Qatari Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammad bin Abdelrahman Al-Thani, about bilateral relations and Lebanon’s ties with the Gulf countries.
• Mikati is accompanied by Minister of Health Firas Abiad, Environment Minister Nasser Yassine, Lebanese Ambassador to Qatar Farah Berri, and his diplomatic consultant Boutros Assaker. His visit will continue until Sunday.
• On Monday, Prime Minister Mikati reaffirmed Lebanon's determination to prevent its financial and banking system from being implicated in operations that "could undermine the security of Saudi Arabia and the GCC countries." He also called for "the cessation of political, military, security and media activities that undermine the sovereignty" of these countries.
• In January, Kuwait led a Western-backed diplomatic mission in Beirut on behalf of Gulf monarchies. During the official visit the Kuwaiti foreign minister delivered a set of trust-building proposals, which included Hezbollah disarmament, a condition that Lebanon’s foreign minister said would be impossible to meet
• Last October, comments by former Information Minister George Kurdahi concerning Saudi Arabia's role in the war in Yemen soured relations between Beirut and several Gulf Countries.
• According to information obtained by L'Orient-Le Jour, a meeting of the Gulf Cooperation Council is scheduled for Sunday and could lead to the return of GCC ambassadors to Beirut; the ambassadors were recalled in October following rising tensions arising from Kurdahi’s comments.