| 27 February 2024, Tuesday |

What is Saudi Arabia’s position from Mikati’s government?

It is known that the success of the new government depends on its seriousness in putting in place the promised reforms and its ability to stopover the collapse and preserve the status quo until the parliamentary elections.

More significantly, the government’s success depends on its ability to restore international and Arab confidence. Without this confidence, there is no aid and therefore no rescue. So far, most of the decision-making countries, including the United States of America, France and Britain, welcomed the new government, and the French ambassador and the US charge d’affaires were the first to visit Mikati in the Grand Serail and did not wait for him to obtain confidence. International support for the new government came on the basis that a government is better than a vacuum, but welcoming this government is one thing and assisting it is another issue. The international message is clear, “there is no aid without reforms.”

The question that arises is, will Mikati be able to overcome the obstacles set by the political forces in front of the reforms, which are the same forces represented in the new government? What about the Arab countries, specifically Saudi Arabia, which remains the basis for opening the doors of the Gulf states to Mikati and his government. It is known that the Kingdom’s position on any government is not related to the person or reforms, but also to the government’s foreign policy and its ownership of the sovereign decision.

According to the information, Saudi Arabia’s initial position will range between silence and non-commenting as is the case now, and judging the actions and not the ministerial statement, which was always a constructive text that was not applied, as was the case with the principle of dissociating Lebanon from the conflicts of the region.

Sources familiar with the Saudi position revealed that the Kingdom’s position on the new government is characterized by skepticism, especially since nothing has changed in the way the government is formed and its composition. Therefore, the Saudi position will also not change, so there is no confidence in a government that does not have its sovereign decision.

Before the government formation, American and French attempts were made to involve Saudi Arabia again in the Lebanese file, and let us remember the famous visit of the two ambassadors, Shea and Grillo, to Riyadh, but the American-French mission did not succeed, and this path still needs a lot of work.

According to diplomatic sources, the only result achieved was with Saudi Arabia’s participation in the August 4 conference to help Lebanon, after it boycotted the other conferences, even though it did not provide aid. The Saudi response to the American-French endeavor was: “We provided a lot of aid over the years, which resulted in the growing role of Hezbollah who is participating in the Houthi war on the Kingdom, and training their groups in Lebanon.”

  • Sawt Beirut International