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LEBANON-GULF RELATIONS

Derian receives Saudi, Qatari and Kuwaiti ambassadors ahead of parliamentary elections


Derian receives Saudi, Qatari and Kuwaiti ambassadors ahead of parliamentary elections

Mufti of the Republic Abdel-Latif Derian receives ambassadors to Lebanon from Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Qatar on Thursday. (Credit: Hussam Chbaro)

BEIRUT — Grand Mufti Abdel-Latif Derian, the highest Sunni authority in Lebanon, on Thursday received the ambassadors of Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Kuwait, all of whom called for the Lebanese electorate to participate in parliamentary elections on Sunday, the state-run National News Agency reported.

Here’s what we know:

    • According to the NNA, Saudi Arabia’s ambassador, Walid Bukhari, who returned to Lebanon in early April following a monthslong absence due to a diplomatic spat between Lebanon and some Gulf countries, said after the meeting that his country “greatly appreciates Dar al-Fatwa's efforts to spread the culture of moderation.”

    • "We expressed our gratitude for the balanced national role played by the mufti of the republic, as well as the muftis of the different regions who are faithful to national unity and civil peace in Lebanon,” Bukhari added.

    • For his part, Derian said that “the upcoming parliamentary elections are an important turning point in the history of Lebanon and we gave our directives to our Lebanese sons and brothers to participate, and not to boycott [the elections].” Derian also said that "no official has called for such a boycott, participation in the ballot is a religious and national duty.”

    • In a joint press release, the ambassadors said that “the negative attitude towards the elections does not build a nation, and leaves room for others to fill the void.” The diplomats also said that the vote of the Lebanese must be directed “to those who protect Lebanon, its sovereignty, its freedom, its Arabism and the unity of its territory.”

    • On Jan. 24, Future Movement head and former Prime Minister Saad Hariri, who led the biggest Sunni bloc in the 2018 Parliament, announced his withdrawal from political life, confirming that he would not run in the upcoming parliamentary elections. He also asked his party not to participate in the elections but nevertheless, several Future Movement members have resigned from the party and are running for Parliament. 


BEIRUT — Grand Mufti Abdel-Latif Derian, the highest Sunni authority in Lebanon, on Thursday received the ambassadors of Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Kuwait, all of whom called for the Lebanese electorate to participate in parliamentary elections on Sunday, the state-run National News Agency reported.Here’s what we know:    • According to the NNA, Saudi Arabia’s ambassador, Walid...