Lebanon will not endorse any potential Arab League sanctions against Syria, Foreign Minister Adnan Mansur said, as the organisation prepared to meet on Thursday to discuss measures against Damascus.
“Lebanon will not endorse any sanctions by the Arab League against Syria,” Mansur, who is backed by the Shiite militant group Hezbollah, told local radio before heading to Cairo for the meeting.
“We will decide whether to vote against or abstain depending on the talks in Cairo,” he said in response to a question.
Lebanon voted against suspending Damascus from the 22-member Arab League earlier this month, siding with Yemen and Syria, as pressure mounts on the regime of Bashar al-Assad to end its bloody crackdown on dissent.
Tensions between rival Lebanese political camps are rising over the Syria crisis. The country’s pro-Western opposition, led by former premier Saad Hariri, has thrown its weight behind anti-Assad protesters in Syria.
Hezbollah, which is backed by Damascus and Tehran and which dominates the Lebanese government, has meanwhile said it will continue to stand by Assad against an “international conspiracy” aimed at ousting him from power.
Washington for its part has urged Lebanese authorities to protect their financial sector against potential Syrian efforts to sidestep sanctions, sparking fears Beirut could be affected by possible future measures against the Assad regime.