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Iran FM in Lebanon, urges vote on president without 'foreign interference'

Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian held talks with Lebanese officials as the country faces a deepening political and economic crisis.
Lebanon Prime Minister Najib Mikati (R) and Iran's Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian meet in Beirut on October 7, 2021. (Photo by anwar amro / AFP) (Photo by ANWAR AMRO/AFP via Getty Images)

BEIRUT — Iran’s Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian arrived in Beirut on Wednesday on his first visit to the country after Tehran and Riyadh struck a landmark normalization deal back in March.

The Iranian chief diplomat urged a swift end for the presidential void ongoing since November, while also advocating against what he called foreign interference in the process.

“We will support any election and agreement reached between all Lebanese sides… and we call on other foreign parties to respect the choice of the Lebanese without interfering in the country’s affairs,” he said following a meeting with Lebanese caretaker Foreign Minister Abdallah Bouhabib.

Lebanon has been without a president since the term of President Michel Aoun, an ally of the Iran-backed militant group Hezbollah, expired in October 2022. Since then, the deeply divided parliament has failed 11 times to elect a president despite the urgency of the economic situation that calls for immediate reforms.

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