| 18 October 2021, Monday |

The Army Commander heads to Washington .. And America may grant Lebanon a temporary exception from the Caesar Act

In a clear reflection of the Iranian-American attraction in the region, especially in the Lebanese file, and as soon as the Iranian foreign minister’s visit to Lebanon ended, the visit of US Deputy Secretary of State Victoria Nuland, who is scheduled to arrive in Beirut in the next 48 hours, was announced, a visit that was appointed before Abdullahian’s visit. If the official meetings with the three presidents are, in form, at least, the only common denominator between the two visits, the non-protocol meetings remain the main crossing point and indicator of the nature of the two countries’ relations with Lebanon, each from a specific angle.

Abdullahian’s meeting schedule, for example, included the Palestinian factions and Hezbollah. As for Noland, her meeting schedule includes a meeting with Army Commander General Joseph Aoun, who according to information will visit the United States of America in two weeks. Noland is also scheduled to meet at the embassy headquarters with some representatives of civil society.

Nuland is landing in Beirut, coming from Moscow, which had also hosted Abdullahian on a visit that did not miss the Lebanese file, specifically the Hezbollah file, in addition to the Syria file and the nuclear agreement. It was learned that Russia offered with Abdullahian the repositioning of all armed groups affiliated with Iran in Syria, including Hezbollah, as well as the file of weapon smuggling to Hezbollah in Lebanon through Syria.

The Deputy Foreign Minister, who is visiting Lebanon for the first time, will be briefed on the steps that the government intends to take in preparation for the structural reforms required to facilitate access to loans and international financial and economic assistance.

The sources reveal to SBI that the American side has not yet resolved the issue of the exemption from Caesar’s sanctions and the issue is still under discussion, knowing that Lebanese institutions such as the American University, LAU, some hospitals and some associations are communicating with the American administration to obtain this exception to solve the problem of electricity and gas, but the Americans don’t want normal relationships with Assad, and are not convinced of it, despite pressure from Jordan and the UAE.

The information reveals that the maximum limit for this issue may be by granting a temporary exception that will not exceed two or six months, to pass Egyptian gas and electricity from Jordan through Syria, as happened between Iraq and Iran.

Today, an American delegation of congressional aides arrived in Lebanon to prepare a report on the upcoming parliamentary elections, the size of the expected change, and the ability of civil society groups to cause a breach. It is noteworthy that the visit of this delegation will not exceed 24 hours in Lebanon, and according to the information, it will not be limited to representatives of the civil movement, but their meetings will also include representatives of opposition parties.