Lebanon and President Aoun hints at closer ties with Gulf Powers 

Lebanon and President Aoun hints at closer ties with Gulf Powers

Noriko Watanabe and Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

Lebanon is blighted by increasing poverty, high unemployment, and the infrastructure is under enormous strain because of many complex factors. However, certain internal forces are bent on serving the interests of Iran rather than Lebanon. Meanwhile, militants within the Palestinian community are focused on the Israeli question and internal power dynamics. 

Hence, with countless Palestinians, Syrians, and other non-Lebanese ethnicities, the indigenous Lebanese are at the mercy of external forces, ethnic demographic changes, and the further weakening of the Christian component of this nation. Therefore, the social fabric of society is facing an uphill struggle to survive these convulsions. 

President Michel Aoun is disillusioned by the stance of Hezbollah related to the Beirut port explosion that killed over 200 people. Hezbollah and AMAL seek the sacking of a judge who is probing this explosion. Thus with the political stalemate leading to no Cabinet meetings for nearly three months, Aoun is disillusioned by the stance of Hezbollah and AMAL.

Aoun also wants to increase economic and political ties with Gulf powers. This concerns Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates. However, Hezbollah – rather than putting the Lebanese economy first – is focused on the geopolitical bidding of Iran. 

Aoun said, “Today I renew my call for dialogue, to every Lebanese woman and man who desires the salvation of the nation.” 

He continued, “…it has become imperative to speak in a clearer manner because the risks are growing and threatening the nation’s unity; and the preparations we are witnessing in the region make the problems all the more obvious.”

In relation to strengthening ties with Gulf powers. Aoun uttered, “I wish for the best relations with the Arab states, specifically the Gulf states. I ask: what is the justification for straining ties with these states and interfering in matters that do not concern us.”

Aoun strongly said, “The paralyzing of institutions has become an approach per se, and its consequence is wrecking the State. There remains a question: Do the Lebanese still agree on the unity of the State? Or has the system fallen and each one is seeking their own interest? At a time when solutions are drawing near in the region, the solution in Lebanon is slipping away… and this is unacceptable.”

Israel, Iran, Palestinians, and others, have all collectively eroded the functioning of Lebanon. Instead, these nations – and the Palestinians – have utilized Lebanon for their own geopolitical ambitions. Also, when Gulf and NATO powers destabilized Syria, at no point did they concern themselves with untold numbers of Syrian refugees flocking to Lebanon. 

It is time for the Lebanese to focus on Lebanon and not to be divided by the intrigues of others. Likewise, favorable economic ties with Gulf powers serve the economic interests of this nation.

https://www.nna-leb.gov.lb/en/سياسة/512961/president-aoun-in-a-frank-message-to-the-lebanese

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