BEIRUT — Returning to Beirut for the second time in four months, Iranian Minister of Foreign Affairs Hossein Amir-Abdollahian landed in Beirut on Thursday afternoon, the state-run National News Agency reported.
He was welcomed by MP Ayoub Hmayyed, a key figure in Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri's Amal Movement, as well as Abir al-Ali, the protocol officer of the Lebanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and Iranian Ambassador to Lebanon Mojtaba Amani.
The Iranian Foreign Minister is set to meet several Lebanese officials during his visit.
During a press briefing organized upon his arrival and broadcast live, the Iranian senior official stated that “Iran only wishes well for Lebanon,” and specified that the purpose of his visit concerns the Lebanese presidential deadlock, which continues due to political tensions.
Abdollahian immediately dismissed any intention of interference in the presidential election by stating that it is “up to the Lebanese leaders to elect a president themselves.”
Abdollahian added that Iran called on various regional and international parties to collaborate in “reviving Lebanon's economy.”
He further indicated that he discussed the Lebanese matter with Saudi officials and that discussions leading to trade agreements involving Lebanon had been “constructive.”
The visit of the Iranian Foreign Minister coincides with that of the American envoy Amos Hochstein, which began Wednesday and ends Thursday evening.
Abdollahian is expected to hold talks with Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri, caretaker Prime Minister Najib Mikati and Hezbollah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah.
Since last April, notable regional developments have taken place, including the implementation of the Beijing Agreement to normalize relations between regional powers Saudi Arabia and Iran.