| 23 October 2021, Saturday |

Can Mikati’s government deviate from the Iranian track?

The new foreign policy that the government is supposed to follow is one of the main challenges that it will be facing. This is because the Arab and Western countries alike are observing the path that Lebanon will take in this field, especially after the previous policies that isolated the country from its Arab surroundings, and deepened the disputes with the major countries that refrained from providing serious assistance over the past years, and stipulated fundamental changes in the foreign policy followed, rather than the chaotic economic direction that was adopted.

The officials have recognized that their policies have deepened the crisis with the Gulf states, and the Arab regression, except for what is related to the limited humanitarian aspect. They are seeking to restore relations with these countries.

According to Arab diplomatic sources, Lebanon is putting efforts to restore good relations with Saudi Arabia, through a concerned figure, who is working to bring the views closer. The Gulf position is firm, and there is no negligence in correcting the Lebanese track and making it closer than before to Arab foreign policy, including Lebanon standing by the entire Arab ranks on all issues.

Lebanon is an Arab country, and affiliated to the Arabs, and it is normal to take this path and not the other paths that kept it away from the Arab fold. The sources confirmed that the Lebanese endeavor parallels the completion of the French endeavor in this field, while the US administration leaves France to carry out such tasks.

Well-informed diplomatic sources raised questions about whether the current government is able to bring about a strategic change in Lebanon’s policy toward the Arabs. The latter have become highly sensitive because the officials are implementing Iran and its allies’ orders in Lebanon. Arabs want Lebanese to prove that they are independent and that they can withstand them.

The Lebanese diplomacy appears to be facing the test of returning Lebanon to a balanced foreign policy, in which the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Emigrants will not be the only one responsible for this, but rather it is a joint action between the pillars of the authority, starting from the top of the pyramid.

However, the performance of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs plays a major role in correcting matters and solving major challenges amid this delicate moment in Lebanon’s history. It is not enough for the state to do the minimum requirement, rather all parties are supposed to do that instead of threatening some.