In recent remarks to CNBC’s Hadley Gamble, Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan al-Saud accused the Lebanese government of “giving cover to Hezbollah.”
During the interview, Gamble asked the Saudi minister what the Kingdom was planning to do to help Lebanon at this stage. He responded, “The most important thing for Lebanon to do is help itself.”
Al-Saud noted that the current political and economic situation in Lebanon is the fault of the political class “not focusing on delivering prosperity to the people of Lebanon.”
“Lebanon has great potential, the Lebanese people are tremendously well-educated, tremendously industrious,” he said. “Lebanon deserves to be one of the most prosperous countries in our region, it just needs good governance.”
When asked if he believed PM-designate Saad Hariri would be able to pull Lebanon out of its crisis, the Saudi FM expressed that there would be no difference as long as Hezbollah was involved in Lebanon’s politics.
“It is not about one individual,” he said. “What is important is that there is a true change in how Lebanon functions.”
“Right now we have a situation where the governing system there is mainly focused on giving cover to Hezbollah, which has undermined the state completely,” he explained.
Al-Saud added that the reason Lebanon was “rife with mismanagement and corruption” was that it is dominated by Hezbollah, “which is an armed militia that can impose its will on any government.”
He concluded by saying that Lebanon has to make structural reform that addressed “that key problem,” referring to Hezbollah’s domination over the country’s politics.
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