Israeli PM to discuss Iran, Hezbollah with France's Macron

Posted November 21, 2017

The House of Saud has been losing ground in the multi-religious Mediterranean state, and the Bahraini foreign minister at the Arab League summit called Lebanon's Hezbollah militia "Iran's longest arm in the region".

Hariri criticised Iran and its ally Hezbollah, which is in Lebanon's coalition government, in his resignation statement, and said he feared assassination.

In a statement that party called on Arab states to "support the legitimate struggle of the Palestinian people" and urged them to work together to solve their differences through dialogue.

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The ministers, according to the final statement, said they supported any action to be taken by Saudi Arabia to protect its national security, within the boundaries of worldwide legitimacy.

At the end of their meeting, held on Sunday upon an invitation from Saudi Arabia, the ministers denounced the launch of an Iranian-made ballistic missile by the Houthi movement in Yemen against King Khaled bin Abdul Aziz Airport in Riyadh earlier in November, as well as the bombing of an oil pipeline in Bahrain.

Syria is another battlefield of the proxy conflict between Shiite Iran and Sunni powerhouse Saudi Arabia; Riyadh has been supporting groups fighting forces loyal to President Bashar Assad.

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Hariri has since Saturday been in Paris, where he met French President Emmanuel Macron, and has said he will return to Lebanon by Wednesday.

Lebanese foreign minister Gebran Bassil -a member of the Hizbollah-allied Free Patriotic Movement and the Lebanese president's son-in-law - did not attend the Cairo meeting. These groups were allegedly supported by Saudi Arabia, US and Israel. It is, however, the first time the Arab League has taken such a strong public stand against Hezbollah.

Addressing the Arab foreign ministers' meeting, Foreign Minister Adel Al-Jubeir said: "Showing leniency toward Iran will not leave any Arab capital safe from those ballistic missiles". Senior Lebanese politicians close to Hariri also said he was coerced into resigning. Arab foreign ministers gathered at Saudi Arabia's request for an extraordinary meeting to discuss alleged "violations" committed by Iran in the region, but the foreign ministers of Lebanon, Iraq and Syria were not in attendance.

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In what is perhaps the only concrete measure, the ministers said Arab telecommunications satellites would ban Iranian-financed television stations for what they said was their fomenting of sectarian and ethnic tensions and because they posed a threat to Arab security.