| 24 May 2024, Friday |

SBI news bulletin introduction: Why did the Lebanese government today admit of smuggling?

It is a country, with a government, that do not know what to do. A while ago, we have heard that the state decided to be stronger to finally deal with the smuggling issue, as well as the smugglers, with determination, and that the Captagon file has been closed forever. We believed what was said, and we considered, for a while, that Saudi Arabia was defrauding the Lebanese government and Lebanese officials.

But today the hidden was revealed, and the truth emerged. The Minister of Interior declared that the state must reach a conclusion concerning smuggling that is taking place through Lebanon, and that it will reveal smuggling operations that have taken place before. So, what is this contradiction between yesterday and today? Was the government and the concerned agencies negligent before, until it made its decision today and decided to take practical measures related to everything that threatens its relationship with the Arab state? Of course, it is better for the state and the government to arrive late than never.

But why did the Lebanese officials not take into consideration, from the beginning, the danger of smuggling on the Arab relations of Lebanon? Is it necessary to always reach the edge of the abyss in order to move and do what our duty imposes on us?

Governmentally, nothing new. The illusory victory that Najib Mikati achieved after getting a call from Macron and Bin Salman, does not seem to work. He is still unable to call his government to meet, because he does not have an authority on the Shiite duo, and because the latter is still insisting on removing Judge Tariq al-Bitar before discussing any return to the cabinet table. Does this not mean that what Mikati earned over the phone is just a check without a balance? Doesn’t that mean that his wire victory will not make the government’s road clear and safe?

  • Sawt Beirut International