Beirut/ Stephanie Rady/ Anatolia
Anatolian political analysts:
It is not possible to rely on any external or Gulf support before implementing reforms
France does not have the ability to save Lebanon, only Saudi Arabia can
– Saudi Arabia focuses on three files: reforms, corruption, and the danger of “Hezbollah” to its securityNS
External reassurances prompted Lebanese Prime Minister Najib Mikati to accept his assignment to form a government in light of the severe economic crisis the country is going through.
The first of these assurances came from the French state, which has special historical relations with Lebanon.
Last week, Mikati opened his government mandate through the gates of Paris, where he met French President Emmanuel Macron at the Elysee Palace, after which his plane landed in London, where he met several officials.
A unified speech heard by the Lebanese Prime Minister, from Paris and London, that “there are no blank checks, and no financial aid without reforms.”
The Lebanese government was formed, headed by Mikati, after 13 months of tripping, following the resignation of the caretaker government, headed by Hassan Diab, August 10 / August 2020, after 6 days of a catastrophic explosion in the port of Beirut.
The Lebanese hope that the new government will put an end to the severe economic crisis that has hit the country since late 2019, and has led to a financial collapse and a record rise in poverty rates, as well as a shortage of fuel, medicine and other basic commodities.
After a working lunch that brought together Mikati and Macron, the two went out with smiling faces, and held a press conference in front of the Elysee Palace. Mikati assured Macron of his intention to implement reforms “to revive the economy and continue negotiations with the International Monetary Fund.”
As for the French president, he reiterated that “there is no aid to Lebanon unless its authority provides for real reforms in its economic and financial systems.”
Several days later, the UN Security Council on Monday called on the new Lebanese government to “urgently and transparently implement the known, necessary and fundamental reforms to respond to the urgent needs and legitimate aspirations of the people.”
Accordingly, political analyst Johnny Mounir considers that “the entrance to all international aid is the International Monetary Fund and reforms.”
In an interview with Anadolu Agency, Munir pointed out that “the French focused on reforms in the electricity sector, especially the formation (formation) of the governing body for it.”
And the authority that regulates the electricity sector has the right to issue licenses to private companies that intend to produce electricity and sell it to Electricité du Liban.
For more than two months, the country has been suffering from a severe shortage of fuel intended for use in electric power plants, due to the lack of sufficient foreign exchange to import, which led to an increase in the number of hours of power outages or rationing (about 20 hours per day).
Usually, private generators cover the shortage of fuel for electricity generation, but they run on diesel fuel, which the country is also experiencing an acute shortage of.
Mounir stresses, “It is not possible to rely on any external or Gulf support, before implementing reforms.”
Mounir’s words are consistent with the expert on European affairs, Tammam Noureddine, who explained to Anadolu Agency that “there is no aid to Lebanon without reforms.”
For his part, political analyst Muhammad Nimr said, “It is clear that this government came as a result of contact between France and Iran.”
Nimr added, in an interview with Anadolu Agency, that “the most contactable country is France.”
And that “France does not have enough support to save Lebanon, which can not be saved only through the Gulf corridor, specifically Saudi Arabia, which has historically been the largest capacity to lift the country from its crises.”
** Gulf mystery
Since his assignment, Najib Mikati has not provided an opportunity or a speech, except to mention the Arab countries in order to obtain their support and support for his government.
After his visit to France, the conversations increased about an upcoming visit of Mikati to the Gulf, specifically to Kuwait and Qatar.
To this day, the Prime Minister’s media office has not issued any comment on these news, and no date has been set for a new foreign visit to Mikati.
Munir pointed out that “Mikati is waiting for Saudi Arabia to resolve its position toward the government, positively or negatively, in order to take the next step.”
He pointed out that “Mikati’s visit to Kuwait, Qatar and Egypt is possible.”
Mounir emphasized that “these visits will mean political support, while the financial support will be delayed pending an agreement with the International Monetary Fund.”
** Saudi Arabia’s view of the Mikati government
Saudi Minister of Investment Khalid bin Abdulaziz Al-Falih visited France on September 23 to enhance investment and economic cooperation in many fields.
Tiger said, that “Saudi Arabia believes that this government (Lebanese) do not have the internal political decision, but that does not mean that it does not monitor the actions of the executive and movements, to monitor whether they will be able to prove that it has its political decision.”
He pointed out that “since the government’s launch, there has been more than one merit, such as the entry of Iranian tanks loaded with diesel fuel into Lebanon, and the silence of the United States on this issue.”
** Saudi requirements
It passed about three weeks to form a government of Mikati, nor any Saudi issue a statement or comment about it, that its position from Lebanon does not depend on reforms only, but there is a negative impact of “Hezbollah” on the historical relations of the two countries, according to insiders.
Nimr shows that “Saudi Arabia was clear about its positions on any government in Lebanon, and spoke about three basic things: the state’s reforms, the existence of a corrupt political class, and its view that Hezbollah poses a security threat to it through the Houthis” in Yemen.
He points out that “there are many requirements for Lebanon to be a real country, and it has its own decision and government, and if these requirements are met, Saudi Arabia will be the first to help it.”
On August 10, the Saudi Cabinet made it clear that any assistance provided to the current or future government in Lebanon depends on it carrying out serious and tangible reforms, while ensuring that aid reaches its beneficiaries, and avoiding mechanisms that enable the corrupt to control the country’s fate.
In the end, Western financial aid to Lebanon linked to doing reforms, the Gulf aid, specifically including Saudi Arabia, is credited to put an end to the authority of the “Party of God” in the country.
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