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Syrian president accepts credentials of new Lebanese ambassador

Europe
23.11.2017
By our dpa-correspondent and Europe Online    auf Facebook posten  Auf Twitter posten  
Beirut (dpa) - Syrian President Bashar al-Assad accepted on Thursday the credentials of the new Lebanese ambassador to Syria, the state-run Syrian News Agency (SANA) reported.

Saad Zakhia is the second ambassador to the neighbouring country since Lebanon first established its permanent diplomatic mission in  Damascus in 2009.

The uprising in Syria had delayed his appointment after it divided Lebanon into two camps: one supporting the regime of al-Assad and others backing the opposition.

Syria‘s diplomatic mission opened in 2009 followed international pressure on Damascus to establish diplomatic ties and treat Lebanon as a sovereign country.

The move came nearly four years after Syrian forces pulled out of Lebanon, ending a 29-year military presence and hegemony over Lebanese politics.

The appointment of Zakia to head the diplomatic mission to Syria last month has raised criticism against Prime Minister Saad Hariri, who is a staunch critic of the Syrian regime. 

Hariri defended the step in a tweet shortly after he signed the appointment decree, saying "the presence of a Lebanese embassy in Syria confirms our independence and sovereignty."

Hariri and his followers have accused Syria of assassinating his father, former premier Rafik Hariri, in a bomb blast in 2005 - a charge Damascus has denied.

Lebanon hosts a little over 1.2 million Syrian refugees who have  fled the violence in their home country.

 

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