The conference is seen as the “first opportunity” for Prime Minister Hassan Diab’s government to begin talks with Arab states through one of Lebanon’s new ministers. Fahmi is said to hold meetings with representatives from Arab countries on the sidelines of the conference.
The new government’s appointment is, of course, controversial as we’ve no doubt seen in the last few months. Many Lebanese people see that the new government is unfit to meet the people’s demands and the Cabinet, as of yet, has not formulated a comprehensive plan to solve the economic and financial crisis.
Prior to the new government, Arab states in the Gulf, especially Saudi Arabia, have channeled financial support to Lebanon. Now, however, they’ve made no secret about their skepticism over the new government.
Editor-in-Chief of Kuwaiti newspaper Al-Siyasa, Ahmad Jarallah, wrote about PM Diab in January: “These states now say he is not welcome.”
Khalaf Ahmad al-Habtoor, a prominent Emirati Billionaire, posted on Twitter that no aid would come to Lebanon “as long as Lebanon is in the grip of Hezbollah and the Amal movement, and as long as its streets and universities display pictures of the criminal Iranian Revolutionary Guard and the slogans of Iran’s mullahs.”
As for Saudi Arabia, columnist Tariq al-Hamid from Okaz daily wrote: “Why is it now demanded from the international community and the [Arab] Gulf to support Lebanon without demanding the same of Iran which got Lebanon into this situation?”