Arab states urge Lebanon to rein in Hezbollah

Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al Jubeir arrives for a meeting at the Arab League headquarters in the Egyptian capital Cairo

Arab states urge Lebanon to rein in Hezbollah

Regional tensions have escalated in recent weeks between Riyadh and Tehran over Mr Hariri's resignation and after a ballistic missile was sacked at the kingdom by Houthi rebels in Yemen, who are also backed by Iran.

Last week, the Israeli military chief, Lieutenant General Gadi Eizenkot, told an Arabic language online newspaper that Israel was ready to share "intelligence information" with Saudi Arabia, saying their countries had a common interest in standing up to Iran.

The meeting was chaired by Djibouti's Foreign Minister and current chairman of the Arab Council of Foreign Ministers, Mahmoud Ali Yusuf, at the headquarters of the Arab League in Cairo and was attended by 15 ministers and six ministerial representatives.

The Lebanese envoy to the Arab League, Antoine Azzam, made carefully weighed comments at the meeting that reflected his country's delicate religious and ethnic balance.

The Arab League held an emergency meeting in Cairo on Sunday and issued a resolution that heavily criticized Iran and Hezbollah.

Saudi Arabia has ratcheted up pressure on Iran, accusing Tehran of trying to expand its influence in Arab countries, often through proxies including the Lebanese Shia Hezbollah group. The Syrian government, backed by Russian Federation and Iran, was replaced by the pro-rebel Syrian National Coalition in the Arab League in 2013, but the Syrian seat was again vacated in 2014.

Arab states urge Lebanon to rein in Hezbollah

In a statement attributed to Iraqi Foreign Ministry spokesperson Ahmed Mahjoub, Baghdad said Monday the parts of the Arab League resolution that referred to Hezbollah as a terrorist organization were "inconsistent with the clear and absolute Iraqi position in defining terrorism realistically and accurately". "We want to hold countries where Hezbollah is a partner in government responsible, specifically Lebanon". Saudi Arabia and Hariri both deny those accusations. On Saturday, Mr Hariri was in Paris, where he met French president Emmanuel Macron.

Saudi Arabia allege Iran of instigating and supporting Yemen's Houthis and opposition groups in Bahrain where Saudi forces were "helping" Al-Khalifa regime to crush the "protesters" and even denying them right to practice their religion.

"The foreign ministers' decision was issued mainly to inform the United Nations and the Security Council of Iran's interference and approach in the Arab world", he added.

Following his meeting with Mr Macron, Mr Hariri said he intends to head back to Beirut on Wednesday, when Lebanon celebrates its independence day. Along with that attack, the resolution cited the bombing of an oil pipeline in Bahrain also this month as an example of Iran's threat to regional security.

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.

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