| 23 May 2024, Thursday |

Between Lebanon and Gulf states, exchange of positive messages and ambassadors’ return soon

The last hours witnessed a remarkable positive development between Saudi Arabia and Lebanon, expressed by the statement issued by the Saudi Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which welcomed the positive points mentioned in Prime Minister Najib Mikati’s stance, in terms of his commitment to the provisions of the Kuwaiti initiative. Beyond the positive words, a phrase was noted in the Saudi statement that indicated that Lebanon’s stance would contribute to restoring its role and status at the Arab and international levels.

Does this mean the return of relations between the two countries and the Gulf states to their previous era?

Political sources reveal that Mikati was informed by the Kuwaiti Foreign Minister, of a Gulf decision to grant Lebanon a new opportunity, and he had previously received similar signals from more than one external party, the latest of which was from the Secretary-General of the Arab. So, he issued his last statement, to which Kuwait and Saudi Arabia responded positively, declaring, on behalf of the government, a commitment to disassociation from oneself, and to prevent Lebanon from being used as a platform against Arab countries in any way, and to abide by international and Arab resolutions regarding Lebanon

Some link the development in the Arab Gulf position towards Lebanon, with the nuclear agreement, and others consider it to be a continuation of a Gulf path that began towards Syria, and is continuing in Lebanon. The information confirms that Assad’s visit to the UAE, was done through a quick decision, especially after Russia’s war on Ukraine. The Gulf Cooperation Council will hold its meeting on Sunday, and it is scheduled to issue a stance regarding Lebanon, and the sources say that the first signs of the “thoughtful” Gulf openness to Lebanon will be translated, according to sources close to Mikati, by restoring diplomatic representation and the soon return of Ambassador Al-Bukhari to Beirut, which is expected to take place before the parliamentary elections.

Mikati’s sources explain that Qatar’s interest in oil exploration in Lebanon is accompanied by Saudi blessing, and Mikati will visit Doha next Friday. SBI has learned that preparations are underway for a conference on Lebanon of a socio-economic nature, that may be held in early summer, and preparations for it are taking place between the Vatican, Egypt and France with Saudi Arabia, the Emirates, Kuwait and the Arab League. It is worth mentioning that all of these countries adopt the proposal of neutrality advocated by Patriarch Al-Rahi, but they consider that there is no need to hold a conference to establish Lebanon’s neutrality, as it is present in the Taif Agreement under the title of self-distancing, and it only needs to be implemented

Finally, the positive Arab and Gulf signals remain dependent on the government’s ability to abide by what Mikati pledged. How will that be done and whether he can fulfill his promises, and what about Hezbollah and the President of the Republic, who continues to defend the party and its weapons?

  • Sawt Beirut International