Lebanon’s New Government Will Now Initiate Contact With Arab States For the First Time

The new government has been largely controversial with the surrounding Arab states due to the fact that many of them perceive it as being a vehicle for Hezbollah, which they deem an enemy to them.

As of yet, and since its formation, none of the neighboring states, except for Kuwait, had sent any congratulatory letters to the new government.

With that said, Minister of Interior and Municipalities Mohammed Fahmi is scheduled to appear in the Arab Interior Ministers Council in Tunisia this week, according to MTV.

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.”

He added, “They will not agree to resurrect the snake called Hezbollah and they will not submit to its blackmail under the banner of helping the Lebanese people.”

The attitude towards the new government wasn’t very different in Emirati and Saudi circles.

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?”

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