Macron’s visit and Saudi Crown Prince’s clear-cut position on Lebanese file

December 16, 2021
Macron’s visit and Saudi Crown Prince’s clear-cut position on Lebanese file

Mashari Al-Thaydi

Some Lebanese people repeat the mistake or wishful thinking about the fruits of the French President Emmanuel Macron’s recent visit to Saudi Arabia as well as to the United Arab Emirates and Qatar. Here, the true situation is in one place and the wishes of this Lebanese team are in another different place.

Yes, the Lebanese file was there along with other files at the Saudi-French summit, and these include Iranian, Yemeni, Libyan and Iraqi files, apart from the files of the economy, military industries, and even the files of the digital economy, water and so on.

Why are we dismissing the salve while the text of the Saudi-French statement as well as the comments of Macron after his meeting with Saudi Crown Prince Muhammad Bin Salman were the published ones?

It was very evident from the joint Saudi-French statement that it underscored the need to confront Iran’s destabilizing activities in the region. It also expressed grave concern over the development of the Iranian nuclear program, and the lack of cooperation and transparency from the part of Tehran towards the International Atomic Energy Agency.

On the Yemeni file, some of these people are content with relying on a wrong notion about a Saudi setback and a French pressure. But in fact, the joint statement reaffirmed the solid Saudi-French position toward reaching a comprehensive political solution to the Yemeni crisis, based on the Gulf initiative and its implementation mechanism, as well as the outcomes of the comprehensive national dialogue, and the relevant UN Security Council resolutions, including Resolution No. 2216. France pledged its full support to the Saudi peace initiative, which was presented on March 22, 2021.

As far as the Lebanese file is concerned, the words in the Saudi French statement were not ambiguous. Rather, the position was very obvious and distinct as articulated by Crown Prince Muhammad Bin Salman and observed by the French president. The Saudi and French leaderships have agreed that the Lebanese government must carry out comprehensive reforms, especially to abide by the Taif Agreement that upholds national unity and civilian peace in Lebanon. The provisions of the agreement also stipulated that Lebanon must not be either a launching pad for any terrorist acts that destabilize the security and stability of the region or a source of drug trafficking.

Who brings all these calamities and political and security flaws to Lebanon? Is it the Conservative Party, which campaigns to protect Koala in the Australian Forest, or the Green Association of turtle lovers?

Yes, the first and last who are to be held accountable for this is the Iranian party in Lebanon called Hezbollah. Lebanese President Michel Aoun, during his recent interview with Al-Jazeera channel, tried to normalize its hegemony over Lebanon by saying that the party represents a third of Lebanon!

The time for manipulating the gray areas is over. Hence, politicians and others in Lebanon must stop being politically coquettish, doing contradictory things, and speaking about the logic of a civil state but acting the opposite way.

Saudi Arabia and other moderate countries do not have time to waste with these political ambivalences and acrobatics. The matter is extremely dangerous in the region as we are dealing with a stranded Iran and a lost America.

French President Macron said after his visit to Saudi Arabia: “The Saudi Crown Prince was very obvious as he has always been while expressing his concern, as well as his desire to maintain peace, and he is one of those who adopt clear-cut positions in this regard.”

This article was originally published in Asharq al-Awsat.

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