Source: The Daily Star- Lebanon is controlled by a “terrorist agent,” Bahrain’s Foreign Minister said Friday in reference to Hezbollah chief Hasan Nasrallah, while criticizing the country’s “fake unity.”
“Lebanon is a great country that was ruled by respectful men and sheikhs such as Bechara al-Khoury, Camille Chammoun, Saeb Salam and Rafik Hariri but today, unfortunately, it is controlled by a terrorist agent,” Sheikh Khalid bin Ahmed Al Khalifa said on his Twitter page.
“The Arab League’s statement concerning the terrorist Nasrallah is clear as day,” he added, one day after Arab foreign ministers condemned last week’s speech by Nasrallah in which he criticized Bahrain’s recent arrest of Sheikh Ali Salman, the leader of the country’s main Shiite opposition group, Al-Wefaq.
Hezbollah’s opponents frequently accuse the group’s leader of being an Israeli agent.
In a statement after a special meeting held in Cairo Thursday, the Arab League deemed Nasrallah’s remarks a “repetitive interference in the internal affairs of Bahrain.”
Bahrain earlier this week also summoned Lebanon’s envoy over the speech.
Lebanon’s Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil rejected the Arab League statement, saying Lebanese national unity was more important that Arab solidarity.
In his Twitter response Friday, Khalifa said that the Lebanese delegation to the Arab League favors “fake national unity” over Arab unity, claiming that the Gulf Cooperation Council has saved Lebanon from strife and never failed to support it.
Bahrain has been in turmoil since 2011 when authorities, backed by a Saudi-led Gulf force, crushed a pro-democracy movement.
A backer of the uprising, Nasrallah in a speech last week accused the Bahraini government of being “tyrannical and oppressive.”
He also compared the Bahraini government’s behavior to the “Zionist project” which established Israel, accusing it of naturalizing Sunnis from across the region to change the country’s majority-Shiite demographic, who form the bulk of the opposition.
Commenting on the affair Friday, Progressive Socialist Party leader Walid Jumblatt criticized Nasrallah’s Bahraini-Zionist comparison.
“This comparison is unacceptable, irrespective of the depth of political differences,” he said in a statement released by the party’s media office.
The PSP chief noted the heavy presence of Lebanese expats in Bahrain, warning that “political positions” would have a negative impact on the Lebanese diaspora.