Lebanon's Bassil Lead Ambassadors to Alleged Hizbollah Missile Site Claimed by Israel

Published October 2nd, 2018 - 07:20 GMT
Lebanon's Foreign Minister Gibran Bassil talks to the media as he gathered ambassadors near Beirut international airport on October 1, 2018 during a tour of alleged missile sites around the Lebanese capital
Lebanon's Foreign Minister Gibran Bassil talks to the media as he gathered ambassadors near Beirut international airport on October 1, 2018 during a tour of alleged missile sites around the Lebanese capital

Caretaker Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil Monday led a delegation of foreign ambassadors on a visit to Israeli-alleged Hezbollah weapons sites.

Prior to the tour, Bassil held a news conference at the ministry and that addressed the ambassadors.

The delegation arrived at Ahed Football Stadium just after 5 p.m. It is one of the locations that Israel claimed missiles were stored in.

"Is there something below?" Bassil joking asked the club's head. "As any stadium, there are changing lockers," he replied.

He said the tour was significant because Lebanon was targeted in an international platform and that targeted Beirut’s international airport and that it was a must to clarify things.

“There are some who only know how to live in war,” he said.

During the news conference, Bassil said Lebanon won't allow the United Nations General Assembly to be used as platform to assault it.

Bassil's remark came during a news conference with ambassadors to Lebanon, in which he responded to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s claims that Hezbollah was keeping precision missiles in three different sites near Lebanon’s only functioning civilian airport.

Saudi Ambassador to Lebanon Walid al-Bukhari, Kuwaiti Ambassador Abdel Aal al-Qenaei, United Kingdom Ambassador Chris Rampling and Russian Ambassador Alexander Zaspekin are among those who attended the meeting with the minister.

United States Ambassador Elizabeth Richard didn't attend the news conference with Bassil, saying she was on a leave outside the country.

During the meeting, Bassil blasted Israel for disrespecting U.N. resolutions and for continuing to violate Lebanon’s sovereignty. “Israel is used to using fabrications ... based on inaccurate facts,” he told the ambassadors who had gathered at the ministry. “In a speech last week at the UNGA, Netanyahu said Hezbollah had placed three precision missile sites near the Beirut airport: one in the Ouzai neighborhood “a few blocks away from the runway,” a second under the Ahed stadium, and the third “adjacent to the airport itself, right next to it.”

Bassil told The Daily Star at the news conference that it was not the “affair of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to survey the area” around Beirut’s airport for missiles.

Asked how he could assure the international community there weren’t missile sites – precision or otherwise – around the airport, he said, “I can assure by common sense and by logic and counting on the wisdom of the Lebanese that there are no such missiles, but here, we are only refuting [Netanyahu's claims].”

This article has been adapted from its original source.


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