After visiting the Lebanese president during his visit to Beirut, Qatar’s Foreign Minister and Deputy Prime Minister, Sheikh Mohammad bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani, clearly announced his country’s firm position at a press conference.
The message he carried to Lebanon from his government urges “all sides to put the national interest first above other political interests to form a government.”
The Qatari official explained that his government’s policy requires that they provide financial assistance only “through economic projects that will make a difference to the country’s economy,” which can’t be possible without an independent government they can work with.
He assured that “as soon as a government is formed, Qatar will be ready to study all the options.” Only then, there could be a discussion for “a comprehensive economic program to support Lebanon,” he added.
Qatar is just one of the many countries that wish to help Lebanon out of its critical status quo while having the same rational condition. Without a government, no countries can lend financial assistance, and without a government, Lebanon continues in its speedy fall.
France and other international lenders have issued the same condition, asking, in return for their help, the confirmed presence of an independent and active cabinet that is capable to implement the much-needed reforms.
However, and despite the dangerous situation Lebanon is in, the Lebanese ruling leaders seem stuck by their own interests and bickering, inhibiting the formation of a new government.
As for Qatar helping Lebanon, that wouldn’t be the first time. Back in 2008, it intervened to put an end to an 18-month political conflict, almost similar to the current one. It brokered between the Lebanese political rivals, which resulted in the “Doha agreement.”
Hence, the question was prone to come up during the press conference of whether Qatar would reiterate the same today to stop the ongoing conflict and end the deadlock.
As per the foreign minister’s answer, Qatar currently has no such intention or plan.