Sun. May 29th, 2022

Najib Mikati says call with Saudi Crown Prince and French president ‘an important step’ to restore Gulf ties.

Lebanese Prime Minister Najib Mikati said a call he had earlier with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman (MBS) and French President Emmanuel Macron was “an important step” towards restoring relations with the Gulf.

Lebanese Minister of Information George Kordahi resigned Friday to help end diplomatic stalemate with Saudi Arabia over remarks he made in October Saudi Arabia’s role in Yemen’s war criticized. Riyadh recalled his ambassador and banned imports from Lebanon over what he called “insulting” remarks.

The French president, who was in Saudi Arabia for talks with the Saudi crown prince as part of a Gulf tour, told reporters on Saturday that Riyadh had pledged to become financially involved again in the short term.

“So we are going to work in a very concrete way now to put it together between the two of us,” he said.

During the call with Mikati, Macron said he and MBS had conveyed a clear message that Saudi Arabia and France fully want.

“We want to commit ourselves to supporting the Lebanese people and therefore doing everything possible to ensure that trade and economic reopening can take place,” Macron told reporters in comments before leaving the kingdom.

“We also want the [Lebanese] government to be able to work in a normal way and therefore meet as soon as possible, and to implement useful reforms, ”he added.

The French president has indicated that France and Saudi Arabia will work together to provide vital humanitarian aid to Lebanon, which is facing an economic crisis caused by government failures and pervasive corruption.

The Lebanese cabinet said in a statement on Facebook on Saturday that Mikati stressed his government’s commitment to reform.

‘Important step’

It was another intervention by Macron to try to help Lebanon, a nation that was once a French protectorate. It was also the first call between the Saudi crown prince and Lebanon’s prime minister since Mikati took office in September.

Macron said he would call his Lebanese counterpart, Michel Aoun, on his return to Paris.

Macron has led international efforts to resolve the political and economic crisis in Lebanon. But despite spending much of his capital on the issue for more than a year, he has so far failed to pressure the country’s bickering politicians to implement economic reforms that would unlock essential foreign aid. .

In October, Riyadh suspended Lebanon’s envoy to the kingdom, recalled his ambassador to Beirut and banned Lebanese imports following remarks by Kordahi, an ally of the Hezbollah movement, who considered Riyadh a “terrorist” organization. The United Arab Emirates and Bahrain followed suit.

Kordahi said on Friday when he resigned that he was acting in his country’s interest to help end the dispute. The Iran-backed Hezbollah is one of the most powerful players in Lebanese politics.

Saudi Arabia and Iran have long fought for influence in the region, including Lebanon, which is struggling with a deep economic crisis and desperately needs financial support from regional and international donors.

Source link

By admin

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.