The new Lebanese ambassador to Damascus presented his credentials in the Syrian capital on Thursday, despite a wave of objections to his appointment, which came in contradiction with the Arab League’s decision to suspend Syria’s membership.
Ambassador Zakhia made his first statement in Damascus to Hezbollah’s Al-Manar channel, saying that he would seek to achieve both countries’ interests.
“I am pleased to receive a work office in Damascus and happy because I am in my country and my family,” he said. “We will work for the benefit of both countries and peoples.”
In remarks to Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper, Lebanese Education Minister Marwan Hamadeh said: “I have asked our government to take immediate action to prevent this tragic scene that is the Lebanese ambassador presenting his in Damascus to those who are responsible for the death of more than 500,000 Syrian victims and hundreds of Lebanese victims. Not to mention the magnitude of the devastation that has afflicted this fraternal country due to the criminality of its regime.”
Addressing the media following a Cabinet session on Thursday, Information Minister Melhem Riachi said the ministers have discussed the issue of the appointment of a new ambassador to Syria, noting that a number of ministers, including the minister representing the Lebanese Forces, have voiced their objection to the ambassador’s presenting his credentials, stressing that this step should have been postponed until the problem between the Arab League and Syria is resolved.
Earlier this week, the Future Movement parliamentary bloc stressed its commitment to the appointment of a new ambassador to Syria, saying it was "a natural and necessary issue that must preserved, especially as the bloc fought vigorously for the exchange of diplomatic representation between the two countries.”