| 3 December 2021, Friday |

Why was Qatari Foreign Minister’s visit to Beirut delayed?

Lebanese officials are still waiting for the Qatari foreign minister, in a time Arab diplomatic sources noted that he has not visited Beirut yet, as the Qatari crown prince promised during his meeting with Prime Minister Najib Mikati on the sidelines of the climate summit in Glasgow.
The sources say that Qatar may have delayed sending its foreign minister for several reasons, the most prominent of which perhaps are: First: Qatar has become more considerate of Saudi Arabia than ever before, and this issomething the Lebanese officials should bear in mind. As Qatar can approach the endeavor towards resolving the crisis between Lebanon and the Gulf, but without any provocation to the Kingdom of any kind. And thus, any Qatari approach will be an honest one, and the margin in the ideas’ maneuvers that may be presented in case of a Qatari visit, will be controlled. There is no doubt that Qatar has good relations with everyone in the region, but any endeavor or mediation will be governed by the priority of Gulf relations, and Qatar will take into account Saudi Arabia in any move.
Second, any Qatari move or mediation will be based on positive data from both sides. The sources confirm that any endeavor, w2ill be well scrutinized before it begins. And there will be no progress until certain steps are taken from the Lebanese side. Qatar, of course, is waiting for such steps. There is no doubt that Lebanon has been very late because it is a non-deciding country. While the Gulf was waiting for it to take an immediate step, that would be a good gateway to speeding up the return of normal relations.
Other Arab sources pointed out that Qatar has felt that the issue is not amenable yet to any positive breakthroughs, so it preferred to wait, indicating that no Arab party is not ready to take the initiative, if it will pay for it from its own positions and strategic interests. Qatar may have waited for certain data from both Saudi Arabia and the United States. Qatar and the Sultanate of Oman always have some differentiation in their stances, due to the fact that they have their own premises. But the Gulf is united in its stance towards Lebanon, and the Kuwaiti stance, was a proof of the seriousness of the crisis, asit has shown solidarity with the three countries, Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Bahrain.
The sources also realize that Iran, and upon any request to pressure its ally, “Hezbollah” to solve the problem, says that it has nothing to do with the matter, and that it should refer to its Lebanese ally, which takes the decision.
The sources indicate that the Lebanese officials must first come to an understanding among themselves on a solution to the problem, and till now, they are still dealing with axes, and the government is not convening, which loses the reference to the Lebanese interlocutor, while International delegates are now talking with parties, not with a governing body or government. The problem is that the regional concern of some parties precedes the presence of an effective government that takes decisions. While the countries are on the threshold of despair, regarding the ability of the Lebanese to reach an understanding, and the existance of a single reference to talk with, and to take upon itself the implementation of what it pledges.