Informed sources indicated that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman refused mediation by French President Emmanuel Macron to support Lebanon and save it from its crisis.
It came to you, according to the sources, in a call arranged on Monday, September 27, 2021, between the French president and the Saudi crown prince, to discuss the Lebanese file after the formation of the Lebanese government headed by Najib Mikati early this month.
The Arab Post website quoted these sources as detailing the call, as Macron stressed to bin Salman that Paris was looking forward to Riyadh taking measures that would save Lebanon.
Mohammed bin Salman refuses to support Lebanon
According to the source, bin Salman made it clear to the French president during their call that Saudi Arabia’s problem with Lebanon is not in the Prime Time Zone or the government, but rather in the Lebanese policies followed, especially foreign policy and the continuous performance and coverage of Hezbollah’s practices in the Arab region.
In their call, bin Salman stressed to Macron that the most obvious Saudi problem with Lebanon is Hezbollah, and its ability to impose its foreign policy on the official government.
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Therefore, no Saudi official can agree to go along with the French and provide support to Lebanon, while Hezbollah continues to confront Saudi Arabia in Yemen, Iraq and Syria.
Bin Salman made it clear to the French president that the Kingdom is not ready at the present time to receive Mikati and meet with him, and give him legitimacy to the government, in light of the continuous performance and the approach followed, and that the most it can offer is a meeting with Foreign Minister Faisal bin Farhan, and not with King Salman or the Crown Prince. Saudi.
During the contact between them, the source explained that Macron assured the Saudi crown prince his country’s readiness to provide a basket of guarantees related to the performance of the next government, whose current task is to stop the deterioration in the local economy, negotiate with the International Monetary Fund, and hold parliamentary elections under international supervision, which allow for a change in the group. Holds power for decades.
According to the source, Macron urged bin Salman to take advantage of the positive climates of dialogue between Saudi Arabia and Iran, and work to transfer these climates to be reflected on Lebanon, given that he needs the Arab countries to stand by him at this difficult stage.
French delegation to Saudi Arabia
According to the same source, a French delegation, which will include French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian and head of foreign intelligence, Bernard Emie, will visit Saudi Arabia to meet with Saudi officials and discuss the Lebanese file more broadly.
This comes ahead of Macron’s upcoming visit, which he intends to conduct before the end of the year to the Gulf states, led by Saudi Arabia, to mobilize support for Lebanon from the Gulf Cooperation Council countries.
Why did the Elysee leaked Macron and bin Salman’s call?
According to political analyst Mounir Al-Rabi, the leak of news of Macron’s contact with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, comes for two main goals: The first, in response to Prime Minister Najib Mikati’s demand, to work on providing direct communication between him and Saudi Arabia, to urge it to support him.
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The second is to say that Macron has succeeded in opening a loophole in his relations with the Gulf, specifically Saudi Arabia. This implies a reference to his role in the Middle East, and his continued efforts to help Lebanon and save his initiative.
According to Al-Rabi`, Macron told Mikati during their last meeting that the French would not offer any assistance unless the reforms were approved and implemented. Reforms cannot be started before a negotiation plan is drawn up with the International Monetary Fund, which mainly stipulates the issue of border control and prevention of smuggling.
Politically, there are those who link this condition to another condition: the completion of the demarcation of the southern border, while Lebanon is rushing, after the Israeli developments, to revive negotiations to protect its maritime rights, and to speed up obligating companies to start drilling operations in the disputed area.
Why the Saudi insistence not to return to Lebanon?
In the new Saudi policy, there is no space for Lebanon, as the Lebanese political analyst Johnny Mounir confirms to “Arabic Post“.
According to Munir, the Saudi performance has differed in dealing with the region’s files since Prince Mohammed bin Salman took power in the Kingdom. Hezbollah overran the administration and the government, and controlled the country’s decision-making and subjugated everyone.
Mounir confirms that the Saudis informed the concerned authorities, who reviewed them some time ago, their apology for providing financial aid to the Lebanese army, which means that Riyadh will not provide any support to the current government, as it is a continuation of the same political approach.
Mounir believes that Egypt will cover the Saudi territory in Lebanon, in competition with Qatar, because both sides are aware of the danger of leaving Lebanon without an Arab cover.
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