BEIRUT — Outgoing Lebanese Prime Minister Najib Mikati received Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian at his home on Wednesday evening. The two discussed bilateral relations, as well as the situation in Lebanon and in Gaza, where the war between the Islamist movement Hamas and Israel is spreading further into southern Lebanon every day, reports the official National News Agency.
During the meeting, the head of government stressed "the need to intensify efforts to achieve a complete ceasefire and put an end to the Israeli aggression against Gaza, in order to find a peaceful and lasting solution." He also urged "influential nations to exert pressure" on Israel to stop its attacks in southern Lebanon, while stressing that civilians and journalists should not be targeted.
For his part, the Iranian minister welcomed the recently agreed-upon four-day ceasefire in Gaza, calling it a "positive step forward."
"The main objective remains to obtain a permanent cessation of hostilities," he added. Mr Amir-Abdollahian also stressed that without a lasting halt to the fighting, "the situation risks worsening further and the region will not return to its pre-war state."
Before going to see Mr Mikati, the Iranian Foreign Minister, who arrived in Lebanon on Wednesday, met with the Speaker of Parliament, Nabih Berry, with whom he had a meeting.