Spokesperson of Foreign Ministry Ahmed Alarbed said on Sunday that Libya will boycott the Arab Economic and Social Development Summit in Beirut following a heated dispute in Lebanon over Libya’s participation in the summit, scheduled to be held on Jan. 19-20.
Libya’s decision is also attributed to the desecration of the country’s flag by a group of Shiite protesters, who demanded their government not to invite Libya to the summit over slain Gaddafi’s role in the disappearance of Shiite cleric and founder of AMAL Movement Moussa al-Sadr in Libya in1978.
A video posted on YouTube on Sunday showed a group of Shiite protesters taking down the Libyan flag from the street, ripping it up and replacing it with the flag of AMAL Movement, a Lebanese political party associated with Lebanon's Shia community.
The Shiites threatened a day earlier to stage nationwide protests to close the airport in a bid to prevent the Libyan delegation from taking part in the summit.
Meanwhile, Libya’s High Council of State has condemned the desecration of the country’s flag in Beirut, demanding in a statement the Libyan Foreign Ministry to freeze diplomatic relations with Lebanon until the latter takes deterrent measures to guarantee that such actions will not be repeated.