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Lebanon to boycott conference in Poland on Mideast, Iran

Lebanon will not take part in a conference that Poland is holding this week on the situation in the Middle East and Iran, Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil said Monday. The minister made the announcement during a joint press conference with his Iranian counterpart, Mohammad Javad Zarif, in Beirut, AP reports. The two-day Warsaw conference begins on Wednesday and will be co-hosted by the US. Some 80 countries have been invited, including Israel. The conference is widely seen as aimed at isolating Iran, which was not invited. Tehran enjoys wide influence in Lebanon through the Hezbollah militant group, which along with allied parties holds a majority in parliament. Lebanon is technically at war with Israel, and Lebanese officials avoid conferences where Israelis are present.