Political Analysis

Lebanon supports Yemen’s sovereignty, Salam tells Arab summit

National Yemen

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi  meeting with Lebanese Prime Minister Tammam Salam

BEIRUT: Prime Minister Tammam Salam offered an ambiguous position towards the Saudi-led military intervention in Yemen during the Arab League summit in Sharm el-Sheikh Saturday, saying Beirut supported any move that preserves Sanaa’s “sovereignty and territorial integrity.”

“Out of its keenness on supporting constitutional legitimacy in Yemen and [supporting] Arab consensus and the unity and stability of all Arab states, [Lebanon] announces its support for any Arab stance that preserves Yemen’s sovereignty and territorial integrity in addition to the cohesion of its social fabric,” Salam said at the close of Saturday’s session.

Addressing a drowsy audience, Salam was the last speaker of the summit , voicing Lebanon’s support for a political settlement to resolve the internal disputes in Yemen. Such a solution, he said, must be independent of any foreign interference in the internal affairs of Arab states.

In line with Lebanon’s policy of dissociation from regional conflicts, the premier called on the Arab League to distance his country from “all regional struggles that may have a negative impact on the situation in Lebanon.”

But he did not explicitly voice his support or rejection of the Saudi-led military actions launched Thursday against Houthi targets in Yemen, largely echoing a speech made by Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil two days earlier in Egypt in which little was revealed.

Salam also lamented the absence of a Lebanese president, saying the 10-month long vacuum has disrupted political institutions and hampered the economy.

While Salam maneuvered carefully around the issue of the Yemen, he was direct in his support for the proposed creation of a joint Arab force to confront terrorism in the region.