“I laughed … I became ashamed that I was a Minister of Foreign Affairs”. This phrase was mentioned in an interview with former Foreign Minister Fares Bweiz, when Minister Nassif Hitti resigned, praising his step, saying that the latter was “the honor of the position,” but he regretted the appointment of Ambassador Charbel Wehbe to take over the portfolio.
This statement, which was issued by the former Foreign Minister Bweiz, was a clear and sufficient signal to know the behavior of Minister Wehbe and his approach to matters, especially in terms of foreign relations, especially since Minister Bweiz held the position for long years and in sensitive periods, and therefore it was necessary to discuss with him the crisis caused by Minister Charbel Wehbe During his interview with the “Al-Hurra” channel, which falls outside diplomatic norms.
In his speech to “Sawt Beirut International,” Bweiz affirmed that the job of the foreign minister in any country in the world is to restore international relations and consolidate friendships for his country and correct them on one hand. On the other hand, Lebanon has a sectarian special status, which makes sects culturally and emotionally linked to Gulf countries. Hence, the foreign minister’s job, in addition to his regular general job, is to draw a unified foreign policy for the country and not to make foreign policy a subject of internal strife between those who support and those who do not, because there are some sects that received the matter as an insult to them.
Moreover, these positions did not take into account Lebanon’s higher and political interests, and everyone knows that these words deviate from the internationally adopted political and diplomatic approach, but rather constitute an insult to entire nations.
And by asking Minister Bweiz if there is any “background” to this statement, he considered that perhaps Minister Wehbe wanted to conduct an auction with President Michel Aoun to achieve other future gains, but he went far in the process of insulting entire nations while he was supposed to confront the interlocutor directly in case he considered that he was “addressed in obscene words”, instead of addressing the countries or the country to which he belongs and which has nothing to do with the interlocutors, especially since he has no official capacity nor does he represents a country. Wehbe must take into account Lebanon’s interests in terms of marketing the internal decision abroad in the best ways.
Regarding the minister’s orientation, especially since there is no unified decision regarding foreign policy, Bweiz replied, “Of course this minister is not free and he is restricted and I think that he is aligned with political forces and perhaps he thought that this matter would improve his position, but the matter turned back on him and the country and even those who were next to them had to get out of it”.
As for the step that was supposed to be taken to deal with this behavior, Bweiz returned to confirm that he suggested that the President of the Republic take over immediately, before any Arab decision was issued, and to contact the Arab kings and presidents to inform them of his denunciation of the words issued by Minister Wehbe and to ask the latter to step back.