Lebanon's Hezbollah movement has rejected a statement issued by the country's Foreign Ministry condemning Russia's invasion and on-going military operations in Ukraine.
"Lebanon condemns the invasion of Ukrainian territory and calls on Russia to halt its military operation immediately and withdraw its forces… and return to dialogue and negotiations as a better means of finding a solution," the ministry stated on Thursday.
However, during Friday's cabinet session Hezbollah MP and Minister of Labour, Mustafa Bayram, said that the condemnation of Russia's operations in Ukraine violates the principle of neutrality espoused by the Lebanese authorities and potentially exposes Lebanon to dangerous repercussions as a result.
Another MP and member of the Loyalty and Resistance bloc, which Hezbollah belongs to, Ibrahim Al-Moussawi took to Twitter and criticised the government who "distance themselves and pretend to be neutral where they want, and they interfere and condemn where they want", calling on Foreign Minister Abdallah Bou Habib to explain what Lebanon's foreign policy is.
Yesterday, Hezbollah MP Hasan Fadlallah also stressed that the ministry's statement neither reflects the position of the Lebanese people nor the state.
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"Why didn't they wait to discuss this issue at a cabinet session. We find out that many Lebanese sides started to disavow such stance and that the Council of Ministers knew nothing about this statement," Fadlallah was quoted by Al-Manar.
"Such stances won't please those whom they are trying to appease," he added.
In response to ministry's statement Russia's embassy in Beirut announced that it was surprised by the announcement.
"The statement… surprised us by violating the policy of dissociation and by taking one side against another in these events, noting that Russia spared no effort in contributing to the advancement and stability of the Lebanese Republic," a statement said.
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