Kuwait protests to Le­banon over al­leged Hezbol­lah train­ing

Muscat Daily - - REGION -

Kuwait City, Kuwait - Kuwait has protested to Le­banon over the al­leged train­ing by Hezbol­lah of 21 Shi­ites con­victed last month on charges of form­ing a ‘ter­ror cell’ in the Sunni-ma­jor­ity coun­try.

It de­manded that pres­sure be put on the Shi­ite mil­i­tant group, which has min­is­ters in the Le­banese gov­ern­ment, to en­sure there was no rep­e­ti­tion.

The protest fol­lows Kuwait’s ex­pul­sion of 15 Ira­nian diplo­mats on Thurs­day over Tehran’s al­leged links to those con­victed.

The let­ter de­liv­ered by Kuwait’s Am­bas­sador in Beirut late on Fri­day said the na­tion’s Supreme Court had found that ‘Hezbol­lah took part in con­tacts, co­or­di­nat­ing meet­ings, paid funds and pro­vided arms and mil­i­tary train­ing in Le­banon’ for the de­fen­dants.

It called on Le­banon to take ‘the nec­es­sary mea­sures to curb th­ese dis­grace­ful prac­tices’ by Hezbol­lah as it is a part­ner in the gov­ern­ment, Am­bas­sador Ab­du­laal al Que­nai told the of­fi­cial KUNA news agency.

Un­like neigh­bour­ing Sunni pow­er­house Saudi Ara­bia, Kuwait main­tains diplo­matic re­la­tions with Shi­ite Iran. But sec- tar­ian is­sues re­main sen­si­tive. Shi­ites make up around one third of the emi­rate’s pop­u­la­tion.

Trump to host Hariri

US Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump will meet Le­banese Prime Min­is­ter Saad Hariri in Washing­ton next week for talks on is­sues in­clud­ing refugees and com­bat­ting ter­ror­ism, the White House an­nounced late on Fri­day.

An­a­lysts also an­tic­i­pate US aid will be high on the agenda of the July 25 talks at the White House, which has made clear its in­tent to slash its aid bud­get for Le­banon, on grounds that na­tional forces there have not ad­e­quately ap­plied US mil­i­tary sup­port to­wards rein­ing in Hezbol­lah. ‘The two lead­ers will dis­cuss is­sues of mu­tual con­cern, in­clud­ing the fight against ter­ror­ism, the econ­omy, and refugees,’ the White House said in a state­ment.

‘This meet­ing will serve as an im­por­tant op­por­tu­nity to strengthen the bi­lat­eral re­la­tion­ship,’ the state­ment said, adding that the talks ‘will en­cour­age other in­ter­na­tional and re­gional part­ners to sup­port Le­banon as it faces a wide range of chal­lenges’.

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