Former Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri did not make good on his promises to make the appropriations necessary to finalize the arms deal signed by the Lebanese army and the Russian government. The United States and Saudi Arabia support Hariri’s delay, while the army is in the midst of an ongoing confrontation with takfiri terrorist groups on the eastern border with Syria.
The Lebanese army should not be supplied with Russian weapons, though it desperately needs them for its battle against takfiri terrorist groups. This is a logical deduction from the arms deal’s hiatus, brought about by a failure to make the proposed $500 million appropriations. These appropriations were supposed to come out of a $1 billion grant from Saudi Arabia to the Lebanese army and security forces, the spending of which is being supervised by former Prime Minister Saad Hariri. Continue reading On US-Saudi Orders, Hariri Forestalls Arming the Lebanese Military
Riyadh has ‘red-lighted’ the planned dialogue between Hezbollah and the Future Movement before it even began. The Saudi call for Hezbollah to be put on the list of terrorist organizations made at the United Nations threatens to renew tension between the two sides, following an undeclared truce in the media that did not last for more than a few days.
Is there a fixed Saudi, and consequently Gulf policy, vis-à-vis Lebanon? Are these countries really keen on the stability of this country, as they claim, when they hardly spare any occasion to exacerbate its divisions? These questions and others are being asked after the new Saudi escalation against Hezbollah, which is likely to aggravate the already complex situation in Lebanon and the region. Continue reading Riyadh nips Hezbollah-Future Movement dialogue in the bud
by Hussein Dakroub, The Daily Star
BEIRUT: A war of words flared up Monday between MP Michel Aoun’s Free Patriotic Movement and the Future Movement over the presidential deadlock, threatening to raise political tension in the volatile country and further complicate already stalled attempts to elect a new president.
Coupled with mounting security threats linked to the war in Syria, the political escalation, a norm in Lebanon’s turbulent history, reflected the state of disarray and divisions in the country following the rival parties’ failure to elect a president or hold parliamentary elections on time.
A number of Future lawmakers lashed out at Aoun, accusing him of losing his temper after the FPM leader charged that the Future Movement took orders from Riyadh and accused Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal of vetoing his candidacy for the presidency. Continue reading Michel Aoun: Decision On Lebanese Presidency Blocked by Saudi Arabia