| 18 April 2024, Thursday |

Langden: Hezbollah’s role in Yemen, Syria and Iraq is precarious

In an interview with Al, the British Chargé d’Affairs to Beirut Martin Langden stressed that “Lebanon is going through one of the most difficult crises in its history, and its causes are complex and long-term, but serious reform and profound change are necessary.”

He also criticized the role of Hezbollah in the region, from Iraq to Syria and Yemen, calling for Lebanon’s neutrality from regional conflicts.

In addition, he waved the specter of sanctions against a number of Lebanese officials involved in cases of public theft and corruption.

And he considered, “The absence of serious reform will pose an increasing existential threat to the Lebanese nation. Therefore, political leaders and all those with influence must put aside their rivalries and personal interests, and instead show the responsibility and leadership that this moment of danger demands and a commitment to reform for the sake of the national interest.”

Lebanon is stuck and drowning

However, he pointed out that “despite the importance of the step to form a new government, it does not solve these problems, but without this step, Lebanon will remain stuck and drown.”

On whether the United Kingdom will impose sanctions on those responsible for the continuing crisis in Lebanon, the Chargé d’Affairs to the embassy in Beirut pointed out that “political and economic corruption has destroyed Lebanon’s stability and prosperity, and stole the future of many people.”

In addition, he added, “Perhaps we have all been very tolerant of political officials for a long time. From here we confirm that the British government is clear about not accepting the practices of these people, and we now have a“ Magnitsky ”penal system that we can use against those who steal from the Lebanese state or engage in other violations. “.

Dancing on the edge of an abyss

“Britain is in an active and focused discussion with the main partners to understand the best way in which the international community should encourage positive change in Lebanon, but real reform, transparency and accountability remain essential if there is a real shift in Lebanon’s prospects,” Langden said.

The Chargé d’Affairs to the British Embassy tweeted last week about the current political situation, specifically addressing the head of the Free Patriotic Movement, MP Gebran Bassil, the president’s son-in-law, saying, “I told Bassil very frankly of Britain’s concern about Lebanon. Political leaders are dancing on the edge of an abyss, and it is imperative that all parties assume their responsibilities and act. ”

No polite diplomatic speech

In the context, he said, “I have spoken frankly with all the Lebanese officials, and I am not interested in playing the“ blame ”game, as there is enough of that. The UK is very concerned about the current situation, and I think we are right about that. ”

“This moment is not for polite diplomatic rhetoric, but rather a moment for Lebanon’s true friends to sound the alarm and speak honestly and even frankly about the danger this country now faces,” he added. Lebanon is heading rapidly towards collapse and time is running out. The longer we are inactive, the more risks we face, and the more the price that the Lebanese will pay in the end, and they are actually paying it. ”

What about Hezbollah ?!

As for whether the blockade imposed on Hezbollah contributed to exacerbating the existing crisis in Lebanon, the Chargé d’Affairs to the British Embassy said, “What Lebanon is witnessing today is primarily a result of long-term factors and practices and not because of recent developments.” He continued, “The United Kingdom has strongly criticized Hezbollah’s activities, especially its destabilizing role in the region, including in Syria, Iraq and Yemen. Are these activities really in the national interest of Lebanon? Should Lebanon allow itself to stand on the front lines of others’ struggles, especially at this fragile time?

He also added, “In my opinion, Lebanon’s neutrality and its commitment to the policy of distancing itself from regional differences is a necessity today more than ever before.”

They know what to do

As for the steps that must be taken to avoid the continuation of the collapse, he said: “The political leaders in Lebanon know very well what needs to be done, and when Lebanon is ready to take these steps, they will find friends’ hands extended and open, ready to support them on that journey. ”

He concluded by stressing the need for “change to come from within, not to be imposed from outside,” saying, “I hope that all who have real interests for Lebanon will work together and this will undoubtedly be a tremendous task. I can promise that we will be there for Lebanon when that moment comes, but it has to happen soon. ”