| 16 April 2024, Tuesday |

A diplomatic source to SBI: Gulf’s stance towards a free Lebanese government is steadfast … neither retreat nor lenient

Last week, the Arab League presented  its capabilities to help Lebanon get out of its current crisis. This proposition did not expand to take its reach or to turn into an Arab initiative launched by the university, and it remained within the framework of the services offer.

An Arab diplomatic source told Voice of Beirut International that the League’s proposal will remain within the framework of offering assistance. And that the active Arab countries will not intervene in the form of an official and clear initiative. There are Arab countries that have contacts with Lebanese officials, and other active countries that prefer to wait, to see what the Lebanese situation will turn to. And these countries consider that Lebanon does not have a government in order to intervene with it, and when Lebanon has a free government, these active states will help it and start contacts with it. Now, however, these countries will not do anything because they believe that they cannot do anything except when Lebanon reaches the production of an uncontrolled government from “Hezbollah”. These countries have not abandoned Lebanon, nor will they abandon it. Rather, they do not interfere in internal affairs, and these countries will have a progressive and positive stance when there is a free government that no party controls. These countries also want to see a government that represents the Lebanese people. And it is not in a state of estrangement with Lebanon, but rather, it is waiting for concrete matters in this context in order to be able to deal with the Lebanese government

The source adds, that not only the active and influential Arab countries have this position, but this is also the case of the major countries in the world. As everyone considers that there is no representative body in Lebanon to talk to, they are waiting for such a body to be formed so they can talk to, help, support and sign agreements with. The sooner such a government is formed, the better for Lebanon and the Lebanese people, and for the  Arab relations with Lebanon.

The source pointed out that there is a difficulty in establishing an Arab move towards Lebanon due to two basic reasons: First, the Arabs believe that the issue is so big that the French President Emmanuel Macron intervened , and some parties who have become well known, did not respond to him . France is very angry at these people because they say that they support the initiative, while practically they do not. And the second: There is no complete harmony in the Arab position on Lebanon. Consequently, there was no comprehensive Arab mandate for the League to intervene, and without a  Gulf’s supporting stance of such a move, there would be no clear initiative for Lebanon. The Gulf’s stance is stable, with no retreat or indolence, it constitutes one of the pressuring factors to correct the Lebanese track. It supports the French initiative, and considers it the only available solution, which “came from heaven”, because there is no other solution other than that. This solution comes, especially before the new US administration’s policy is finally clear, and where it is not yet known where Lebanon is on the list of priorities for this administration. Except for its position on “Hezbollah”, which will not change from the position of the previous administration.

The source pointed out the coordination that the League is doing with France regarding the Macron initiative, and there is also Egyptian-Emirati-French coordination to implement the French initiative.