BEIRUT: President Michel Aoun will head to Kuwait on Nov. 5 for a two-day official visit in which he will hold talks with Kuwaiti Emir Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Sabah.
Aoun will lead a ministerial delegation that includes Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil, Telecommunications Minister Jamal Jarrah, Minister of State for Administrative Development Inaya Ezzeddine, Minister of State for Human Rights Affairs Ayman Choucair, as well as former Minister Elias Bou Saab who currently serves as Aoun’s adviser on international cooperation.
General Security chief Maj. Gen. Abbas Ibrahim and head of the Council for Development and Reconstruction Nabil al-Jisr will also join the delegation.
Aoun is expected to be received at the airport by the Kuwaiti emir before heading to the Bayan Palace for official talks between the Lebanese and Kuwaiti delegations. A meeting between Aoun and Sabah will precede the official talks.
Discussions are expected to focus on strengthening bilateral ties between the countries.
Ministerial sources didn’t rule out that discussions might touch on the allegedly Hezbollah-linked Abdali terror cell of several individuals accused of amassing weapons for an attack in Kuwait at the behest of Iran and Hezbollah.
In the summer of 2015, Kuwaiti security service officers raided farmhouses in Abdali near the Iraqi border, uncovering the largest illegal weapons cache discovered in Kuwait’s history.
The country’s Foreign Ministry sent its Lebanese counterpart a letter requesting that the government act in accordance with the Kuwaiti judiciary’s rulings regarding an alleged Hezbollah-linked terror cell discovered in 2015. The Kuwaiti statement calls on the government to take responsibility regarding Hezbollah, given that the party is an official actor in the government. Prime Minister Saad Hariri visited Kuwait in August to address this issue.
Aoun’s talks might also focus on the countries’ diplomatic missions and Lebanon’s appointment of an ambassador to Kuwait.
Aoun’s visit to Kuwait comes after his visits to Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Egypt and Jordan.
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on October 27, 2017, on page 2.