Lebanon to boycott Warsaw Mideast summit over Israel's attendance

Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif left is greeted by Lebanese Minister of State Parliamentary Affairs and a member of Hezbollah politicians block Mahmoud Qmati right on his arrival at Rafik Hariri Airport in Beirut Lebanon Sunday F

Iran FM visits Lebanon, offers support for new government

Bassil voiced his remarks during a joint press conference with visiting Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif.

"This tendency does exist in Iran, but we are waiting for this desire to be there on the Lebanese side", he said.

The two-day visit comes days after the leader of the Iran-backed Hezbollah group urged Lebanon's government to accept anti-aircraft weapons from Iran, as well as electricity and medicine.

Iran has also offered to help improve Lebanon's crumbling power sector.

In a speech last week, Nasrallah asked why Lebanon was "ignoring" Iran while "offering our necks to others" - an apparent reference to the United States, which has tightened sanctions against his group. "Why should Lebanon be afraid to cooperate with Iran?"

"Lebanon is committed to the dissociation policy", the minister added.

Lebanon is technically at war with Israel, and Lebanese officials avoid conferences where Israelis are present. The organization and its allies ultimately were given control over three ministries, including the health and finance portfolios, raising American concerns the Islamic Republic's Shiite underling will divert state funds to terror purposes.

As for Lebanese Iranian cooperation, Zarif said that "There is no global law that prevents Iran and Lebanon from cooperating; even resolution 2231 requires all countries to normalize their economic relations with Iran".

On the second day of his stay, Zarif is slated to hold separate talks with top Lebanese officials including, President Michel Aoun, Speaker of the Parliament Nabih Bari, Prime Minister Saad Hariri, and the Lebanese Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil.

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