|New Iranian ambassador calls Lebanon a ‘brotherly country’||
Mohammad Fathali arrived in Beirut on Wednesday to begin serving as the new Iranian ambassador to Lebanon.
“I believe I came to a brotherly country,” Fathali told reporters at Beirut's airport, according to The Daily Star.
“I carry a strong and kind message from Iranian officials.”
“We stress the need to uphold good relations between Lebanon and Iran,” he said.
He arrived to a warm welcome from political and party officials, as well as Lebanon-based representatives from the Palestinian factions Hamas and Islamic Jihad.
“I’m looking forward for greater cooperation between Lebanon and Iran and, God willing, I will seek to build bridges of cooperation among the various Lebanese political parties,” he stressed.
Fathali will replace outgoing Iranian Ambassador to Lebanon Ghazanfar Roknabadi.
Fathali, a Middle East expert, has served as a Foreign Ministry economic adviser and Iran’s ambassador to Uzbekistan.
Roknabadi made farewell visits Tuesday to Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri and Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil, where he indirectly indicated his mission was over.
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