BEIRUT: The Foreign Ministry denied Thursday that it rejected the nomination of Kuwait's new ambassador to Lebanon, labeling such accusations as an attempt to undermine the "brotherly relationship between both countries."
A report published by local newspaper Al-Akhbar on Thursday argued that Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil refused the nomination of Jamal Al-Ghanem after Kuwait rejected the nomination of his Lebanese counterpart, Rayan Said, a Shiite close to Speaker Nabih Berri, an ally of the Iranian-backed group Hezbollah.
The report maintained that Al-Ghanem, who acts as the Assistant Foreign Minister for Administrative and Financial affairs Ambassador, was blocked from acting as the head of the Kuwaiti diplomatic mission to Lebanon.
To avoid "any diplomatic embarrassment," Kuwaiti authorities will instead withdraw Al-Ghanem's candidacy while extending the current Ambassador Abel Aal Souleiman El Kannai's term, Al-Akbar reported.
"It is Kuwait's sovereign right to extend the term of its Ambassador, a right that the Lebanese Foreign Ministry has never opposed," a statement released by Bassil's office read.
"The historical relations between the Kuwaitis and Lebanese are rooted in the Arab conscience, which is the optimal example of brotherly relations and cooperation in all fields, and is deeper than any cheap attempt to undermine them," it said.
The diplomatic row comes amid increasing tensions between GCC countries led by Saudi Arabia and Iran, a key sponsor of the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah.
An-Nahar is not responsible for the comments that users post below. We kindly ask you to keep this space a clean and respectful forum for discussion.