Lebanon FM says he will not ‘hand over Hezbollah weaponry’ ahead of GCC meeting
Bou Habib made the comments ahead of his visit to Kuwait for a meeting with GCC representatives
By News Desk - January 29 2022

Lebanese Foreign Minister Abdallah Bou Habib.

Lebanese Foreign Minister Abdallah Bou Habib said “he will not hand over Hezbollah’s weapons” to Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) members, one day ahead of his trip to Kuwait on 29 January.

“I will not end the existence of Hezbollah. This is not an issue in Lebanon. We are going [to Kuwait] for dialogue,” Bou Habib said.

At the GCC meeting in Kuwait, Bou Habib is expected to give a response to the proposal submitted by the Kuwaiti Foreign Minister Sheikh Ahmad Nasser al-Mohammad al-Sabah on 23 January when he visited Beirut.

The proposal includes several conditions set by GCC states in order to improve relations with Lebanon, including setting a time frame for implementing UN Security Council resolutions, in particular, Resolution 1559, which was adopted in 2004 and calls for the disarmament of non-state militias in Lebanon.

In a comment provided to Al Jazeera, Bou Habib said that implementing resolution 1559, which would require Hezbollah’s disarmament, “will take time.”

He added: “Hezbollah is a Lebanese party and has no control over Lebanese politics, but there is constant consultation between political leaders, including Hezbollah.”

Bou Habib then explained that Lebanon will talk to its “brothers in Kuwait, but for us, the stability of Lebanon and the unity of the country are important.”

However, informed sources have revealed that the Lebanese government has stated the country “will never become a platform for action” against other Arab nations.

In the Lebanese response draft to the GCC demands, the country has committed to a policy of separation from regional conflicts, especially in Syria, as reported by Reuters.

The crisis between Beirut and several GCC countries began last year when an interview with former information minister George Kordahi was published by Qatari media in which he called the Saudi-led war in Yemen “futile” and said the Ansarallah resistance movement were merely “defending themselves.”

The comments sparked unprecedented tensions between Lebanon and the Arab countries of the Persian Gulf, despite the fact that Kordahi’s comments were made before he was appointed as cabinet member.

Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Kuwait expelled their Lebanese envoys, recalled their ambassadors from Beirut, and imposed several punitive actions against the crisis-hit country.

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