Emir of Qatar tours south Lebanon

Sheikh Hamad visits towns that Qatar helped rebuild after the 2006 Israeli bombardment.

    Sheikh Hamad was received warmly by many in south Lebanon who are grateful for Qatar's help [AFP]

    Qatar spent millions of dollars to help finance the reconstruction of houses in four towns, including Bint Jbeil.   

    The Emir's tour is the first trip by a visiting Arab leader in south Lebanon.

    During his visit to the region, Sheikh Hamad inaugurated a hospital in Bint Jbeil and a nearby mosque and church.

    Rising political tensions

    He also visited Khiam prison, a former notorious detention center used by Israel during the month-long conflict in 2006.

    Sheikh Hamad's visit comes as political tensions rise in Lebanon over whether Hezbollah members may be indicted by a UN tribunal investigating the 2005 assassination of Rafiq al-Hariri, the former Lebanese prime minister.

    Hezbollah dismisses the tribunal as an "Israeli project'' and has vowed not to hand over any indicted members.

    Sheikh Hamad's three-day trip follows an unprecedented joint visit to Lebanon by Bashar Assad, Syria's president, and Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah in efforts to try to defuse tensions over the tribunal on al-Harriri's assassination.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera


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