Libya withdraws from Arab Economic Summit in Lebanon due to offensive video
Libya has decided not to participate in the Arab Economic Summit in Lebanon because of insults made by the Amal Movement, a Lebanese political party associated with Lebanon's Shiite community which is led by Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri.
The Libyan position comes after an offensive video went viral on social networking sites, showing members of the Amal Movement tearing up the Libyan flag and removing it from a flagpole, replacing it with the party's own flag.
On Sunday, Libyan social network users were angered by the recent Lebanese escalation against Libya. The son of former Libyan leader Muammar Al Gaddafi, Hannibal Al Gaddafi, is being held in Lebanon while Libyans are demanding his release. His case has been controversial, with many Lebanese political parties using the case to demand the postponement of the Arab Economic Summit.
"It is true that our country is in a difficult situation, but we are a nation that has dignity and worth, and we do not accept any state to deprive us of that," said Libyan political activist Fadil al-Ameen, calling on Lebanese authorities to release Libyan national Hannibal, who has been held for more than three years.
Saleh Fahima, a member of Libyan parliament, said to Alarabiya that "this is an individual act by some demagogues, which does not represent the Lebanese people or the policy of the Lebanese state, and will not affect in any way the relationship between Libya and Lebanon."
The Shiite community in Lebanon holds the late Muammar Gaddafi responsible for the disappearance of Imam Musa Al-Sadr, who went missing while visiting Libya in 1978. This is said to be the main reason for the controversy surrounding the summit and Libya's involvement.