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.
Accordingly, political analyst Johnny Mounir considers that “the entrance to all international aid is the International Monetary Fund, and reforms,” noting in an interview with “Anatolia”, that “the French focused on reforms in the electricity sector, especially the formation (formation) of the regulatory body. for him”.
The Electricity Regulatory Authority has the right to issue licenses to private companies that intend to produce electricity and sell it to the Electricity of Lebanon Company.
In this context, Mounir stresses that “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 “Anatolia” that “there is no aid to Lebanon without reforms.”
In this context, Arab diplomatic sources told Arab Post that a call was arranged on Monday, September 27, 2021, between French President Emmanuel Macron and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, to discuss the Lebanese file after the formation of the Lebanese government headed by Najib Mikati early this month.
According to the source, the contact between the two sides discussed ways to help Lebanon out of its crisis and support the new government, in light of its pledge to carry out reforms.
Macron stressed to the Saudi crown prince that Paris looked forward to Riyadh taking measures to save Lebanon, following the economic crisis it has been going through for two years, which affected a large part of the Lebanese people.
But according to the source, the Saudi position was not positive, and bin Salman assured Macron of the Saudi dissatisfaction with the mechanism of government formation, and the ongoing Lebanese policies that remained unchanged.
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 people 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.
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 call between them, the source explained to Arabi Post that Macron assured the Saudi Crown Prince of his country’s readiness to provide a series 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 Over the group that has held 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.
According to the source, a French delegation that 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.