| 22 May 2024, Wednesday |

The Covenant’s position towards Saudi Arabia is an approach, not a slip of the tongue

The crisis of the Lebanese system mainly the covenant team, Hezbollah, March 8 team, with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is multilateral, because it is not an accidental crunch, but rather an approach and belief, even if some try to show that it is a slip of the tongue!

One of the insulting banners against the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia was raised by a supporter to the Free Patriotic Movement (FPM) on the Jal El Dib bridge, on the coastal road between Beirut and Jounieh. It included a direct insult to the late King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz, and that banner came in harmony with the political discourse of the FPM and its president at the time, General Michel Aoun, who was residing in Rabieh before he was elected President of the Republic.

Another insult and abusive words against Saudi Arabia were made by former Foreign Minister Charbel Wehbe during a television interview. It is known that Wehbe was an advisor to President Aoun for diplomatic affairs, before he was appointed Minister of Foreign Affairs. He succeeded Minister Nassif Hitti, although Minister Demianous Kattar should have been appointed instead. But the Head of FPM Gebran Bassil, refused this matter, so he excluded Kattar and appointed Wehbe instead, in clear violation of the decree naming the alternative ministers.

From Wehbe to Abdallah Bou Habib, foreign policies are not drawn in Boustros Palace, the headquarters of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, but rather in Baabda Palace or the Mirna Chalouhi building (the headquarters of FPM). Appointing ambassadors in major countries is made and approved by Gebran Bassil only. Gaby Issa in Washington, Rami Adwan in Paris, Farid Al-Khazen in the Vatican, and others… These names are directly linked to Gebran Bassil, even if he is no longer a foreign minister.

What reinforces the “theory” that the “diplomatic discourse” of the FPM is not inadvertently, is the pretexts that the movement makes after every diplomatic stance. When what Minister Charbel Wehbe said was leaked, the pretext came that there was a “conspiracy knitted against Wehbe to expel him from the Foreign Ministry.” When what was said by the current Foreign Minister, Abdullah Bu Habib, was leaked to the Saudi newspaper, “Okaz”, a first attempt was made to deny what had been leaked. After the failure of the attempt, it was said that what had been leaked was fragmentary, but when he was confronted that the leaks were complete, he found nothing but to acknowledge what he had said.

The hurdle is neither related to Charbel Wehbe nor Abdullah Bou Habib, but rather the problematic relationship with President Michel Aoun, not from today but thirty-two years ago, the date of signing ‘Taif Agreement’ in Saudi Arabia.

General Aoun was against the Taif Accord and all that emerged from it in the election of a president Republic Martyr Rene Moawad, then President Elias Hraoui. The diplomacy he pursued since that date, even after his election as President of the Republic, was “cold diplomacy” toward the Kingdom, and that’s why the selection of ministers for the foreign portfolio was based on this approach.

In his book “Yellow Light – American Policy toward Lebanon,” its author, Minister Abdullah Bou Habib, dedicates a chapter under the title: “The Explosion and the Taif Agreement.” In this chapter, Bou Habib narrates some details of a meeting between him, General Aoun, and Prince Farouk Abi Al-Lama’, during the days of the military government. Aoun is quoted as saying: “No one enters between me and Abdullah (Bo Habib), not only because his mother is from the Aoun family, but because the Buo Habib family belongs to the Aoun family.”

When the criterion is familial proximity, about which diplomacy can we talk?

  • Sawt Beirut International