BEIRUT, Lebanon (AA) – Lebanese Interior Minister Bassam Mawlawi on Wednesday ordered the deportation of non-Lebanese individuals affiliated with the Wefaq Society, an organization outlawed by Bahrain.
The minister sent a letter to the country's General Directorate of General Security requesting "all measures be taken to deport non-Lebanese members of the Wefaq Society,” the official National News Agency reported.
Mawlawi said a press conference held last week by the group’s members "brought harm to Lebanon’s relationship with the brotherly Kingdom of Bahrain and harmed the interests of the Lebanese state."
Earlier Wednesday, the Lebanese minister received a phone call from his Bahraini counterpart Rashid bin Abdullah Al-Khalifa during which Mawlawi stressed Lebanon’s keenness to maintain Bahraini security and stability.
“Lebanon will not be used as a launching pad for hatred or enmity against any Arab country, particularly the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states,” he said.
During last week’s press conference, the Wefaq Society claimed that Bahraini citizens were exposed to "rights violations" by the Bahraini authorities in the past two years.
Lebanon is already in a diplomatic crisis with Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, and Bahrain over critical remarks by former Information Minister George Kordahi on the Yemeni conflict.
The Gulf countries recalled their ambassadors from Lebanon over Kordahi's remarks, who was forced to resign from his post on Dec. 3 in a bid to ease tension.
Lebanon is keen to end the diplomatic crisis with the Gulf states as the country is suffering a crippling economic crisis, amid fuel and medical supply shortages.
Writing by Ahmed Asmar in Ankara