Prominent diplomatic sources paused at the developments in Lebanese-Saudi relations, implying that they are relevant to Lebanese-Gulf relations, as there is a single question as a result: Is there a new Gulf climate toward Lebanon? And what are its chances?
According to these sources, a new atmosphere has emerged towards Lebanon from Riyadh, the basis of which is that French-Saudi and French-Gulf relations are now at their peak of strength and dynamism due to a variety of factors. This reflected favorably on Saudi Arabia’s handling of Lebanon.
According to sources, the limits of this optimism are a message to the Lebanese that there is hope for the Gulf to reconsider its position on Lebanon if Lebanon works to change its behavior and actions. And that, rather than continuing to describe Lebanese-Gulf relations as closed, there is now a glimmer of hope that pushed the Kingdom in its direction, as it formed a departure from the dynamic of the historical and influential friendship in Saudi-French relations, a bilateral path that crystallized a common desire expressed by the Kingdom not to allow Lebanon’s fall, no more, no less.
According to sources, Prime Minister Najib Mikati’s statement was responded to right now based on this dynamic. It is possible that if the statement had come two weeks earlier, before the dates of the Saudi visits to Paris, this would not have happened, noting that the visits resulted in an agreement on the establishment of the Lebanese Support Fund, as well as attention to Lebanon and the rescue path that it is preparing to take.
The title of the Saudi message to Lebanon expresses the hope that if Lebanon does what is expected of it from now on, i.e. adheres to the principles of the Kuwaiti initiative, Gulf relations with Lebanon will strengthen.
According to the sources, the actual change on the part of the Gulf towards Lebanon is contingent on Lebanon changing some of its laws, approach, and behavior in line with the promises it made to the Gulf, which is now being put to the test, because what these countries aspire to is the implementation of the terms of the Kuwaiti initiative.
Diplomatic sources who attended the Organization of Islamic Cooperation Conference in Pakistan stated that there is a positive Gulf state attitude toward Lebanon, which was expressed by more than one country. Sources stated that Lebanon will be the first item on the agenda of the Gulf Cooperation Council meeting next Sunday. As a result, decisions will be made regarding Gulf-Lebanese relations, with the return of diplomatic representation to what it was prior to the escalation of the crisis, i.e. the return of Gulf ambassadors to Lebanon and Lebanese ambassadors to the Gulf states.