Kuwait foreign minister visits Beirut in first such visit since diplomatic rift

January 22, 2022

(Reuters) -Kuwait’s Foreign Minister Sheikh Ahmad Nasser Al-Mohammad Al-Sabah will visit Beirut on Saturday, in the first such visit by a senior Gulf official since a diplomatic spat last year.

In October Kuwait, alongside Saudi Arabia and Bahrain, expelled Lebanese diplomats and recalled their own envoys following a minister’s critical comments about the Saudi-led military intervention in Yemen.

Sheikh Ahmad would meet Prime Minister Najib Mikati’s in the evening, the prime minister’s office said in a statement.

The Gulf Cooperation Council had called on Lebanon in December to prevent Iran-backed Hezbollah group from conducting “terrorist operations”, strengthen its military and ensure that arms were limited to state institutions.

Sheikh Ahmad is expected to meet Hezbollah allies President Michel Aoun and Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri on Sunday, according to Lebanese official sources.

Aoun and Mikati have called for dialogue with Saudi Arabia to resolve the diplomatic crisis, which has piled onto an economic meltdown now in its third year.

(Reporting by Laila Bassam; Writing by Nayera Abdallah; Editing by Gareth Jones and Alex Richardson)

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