2006 News Story

Arab foreign ministers reaffirm support for Lebanon

Arab foreign ministers reaffirmed their support for Lebanon and its government in an extraordinary ministerial meeting in Cairo yesterday. Minister of Foreign Affairs Prince Saud Al-Faisal attended the meeting on behalf of Saudi Arabia.

In a communiqué, the ministers welcomed the Lebanese government’s decision to send troops to the southern part of the country.

It also urged the UN Security Council to enforce Resolution 1701 and pressure Israel to end its siege of Lebanon. The ministers held Israel responsible for the war, and called on Israel to compensate the Lebanese people for their losses.

The ministers called for the convention of an extraordinary session of the Arab Economic and Social Council to discuss Arab efforts to contribute to Lebanon’s reconstruction and support its economy in coordination with the Lebanese government. Arab League Secretary-General Amr Moussa was assigned to spearhead this effort.

On the situation in Darfur, Sudan, the Arab foreign ministers urged the African Union to continue its efforts to resolve the crisis there, and encouraged Arab countries to support the AU. Sending troops to Darfur requires the approval of the Sudanese government, they said. The ministers called on the UN Security Council to give Khartoum more time to improve the security situation in Darfur.