'Hariri to Ahmadinejad: Lebanon will not join Iranian axis'

Report: Ahmadinejad called for making Lebanon part of a regional alliance; Hariri: Culture of confronting Israel is deep-rooted.

Hariri and Ahmadinejad 311 AP (photo credit: AP)
Hariri and Ahmadinejad 311 AP
(photo credit: AP)
Lebanese Prime Minister Sa'ad Hariri told Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad that Beirut will not join a regional axis because Lebanon's unique coexistence formula prevents the country from joining any regional alliances, according to a report in Lebanon's An Nahar on Friday.
Hariri reportedly told Ahmadinejad that "the values of the Lebanese formula, in all its sectarian components, are the strongest weapon, not to mention that confronting Israel requires high-level economic capabilities," An Nahar reported.
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The Lebanese newspaper's sources said that Ahmadinejad had called for "making Lebanon a part of an alliance among six peoples in the region," according to the report.
Referring to Lebanon's long history of military conflict with Israel, Hariri told the Iranian president that "the culture of confronting Israel has been deep-rooted in the minds of the Lebanese since a long time and that they are the ones who have suffered the highest prices and sacrifices in this confrontation in order to support the Arabs' main cause - the Palestinian cause," according to the report.
The sources said that the talks between the two leaders focused on "dialogue and stability in Lebanon," saying that their views were identical, An Nahar reported.
The meeting took place as Ahmadinejad made his first state visit to Lebanon this week, in which he met with Lebanese President Michel Suleiman, Hizbullah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah, and the Lebanese prime minister.