Qatar emir, Lebanon president meet in Doha amid Gulf row

Qatar emir, Lebanon president meet in Doha amid Gulf row
2 min read
29 November, 2021
Lebanon's president met with the emir of Qatar on Monday on the sidelines of the opening of the 2021 FIFA Arab Cup, in light of the continued diplomatic crisis between Lebanon and some Gulf states
Aoun called on Qatar to invest in Lebanon, as the country reels under economic depression [Lebanese Presidency handout/Anadolu Agency/Getty]

Lebanon President Michel Aoun met with Qatar Emir Sheikh Tamin bin Hamad Al-Thani in Doha on Monday to discuss bilateral ties amid an ongoing diplomatic crisis between Beirut and the Gulf.

Aoun will attend the opening of the 2021 FIFA Arab Cup being hosted in Qatar, a pan-Arab football tournament which will take place between 30 November to 18 December.

The Lebanese presidency said talks between Aoun and Sheikh Al-Thani touched on developing bilateral relations and Qatar's support for Lebanon, reeling under numerous crises.

"The visit to Qatar is an expression of the depth of the friendship and the strength of the relationship between the two countries, and its support for Lebanon after the explosion of the (Beirut) port is much appreciated," Aoun said in comments to Qatari daily, Al-Raya.

"Qatari diplomacy is present in regional and international forums. The world today is in need of giving the language of reason and dialogue priority over the language of conflict."

Aoun invited Qatar to invest in Lebanon, which is witnessing its worst-ever financial and economic crisis as the Lebanese lira continues to collapse.

Unlike its Gulf neighbours, Qatar has maintained a centrist approach towards Lebanon after Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain, and Kuwait pulled their diplomats from Beirut late last month over comments made by a Lebanese minister regarding the war in Yemen.

It was viewed by many as part of general distrust among Gulf states about Hezbollah's dominant role in Lebanese politics.

Saudi Arabia expelled the Lebanese ambassador from Riyadh, while Kuwait has banned Lebanese from entering the country.

It is the worst diplomatic crisis ever witnessed between Lebanon and the Gulf monarchies in decades.

Lebanon Prime Minister Najib Mikati met with Emir Al-Thani on the sidelines of the COP26 climate conference in Glasgow earlier this month.

It was reported that Qatar’s Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdul Rahman Al-Thani would visit Beirut to help find a solution to the Lebanon-Gulf crisis, but no date has yet been set.