Lebanon Daily News Brief 01/07/2022

Friday, January 7, 2022


Saudi Ambassador to Lebanon Responds to Hezbollah’s Inflammatory Comments 
The KSA’s ambassador to Lebanon, Waleed al Bukhari, said via Saudi media sources that, “the kingdom’s relations with Lebanon are too deep to be affected with irresponsible and absurd statements.” The ambassador also called on the Lebanese government to counteract, ” activities that affect the kingdom and its neighbouring Gulf countries.” [Reuters]

Maronite Patriarch Warns That Government Paralysis Harms ‘National Parternship’
In a meeting with the French ambassador to Lebanon, Anne Grillo, the Maronite Patriarch Cardinal Bechara al-Ra’i stressed the need for the Lebanese government to return to its normal function, adding that, “it is unacceptable to put obstacles in its way or to involve it in matter that it has nothing to do with and has no jurisdiction over, such as the issue of Judge (Tarek) Bitar, the thing that is harming national partnership.” [Naharnet]

Industry Minister Meets with Ambassador Shea
Minister of Industry George Bouchikian met with US Ambassador to Lebanon Dorothy Shea to discuss their bilateral economic relationship. Among the topics addressed was the training of Lebanese industrialists in the adherence and application of American standards and specifications. [L’Orient Today]



What A Mess In Lebanon As Elections Bring Out The Best And The Worst!
Jean AbiNader

AbiNader writes, “In a sign of his frustration, President Aoun has called for an urgent dialogue centered around a financial recovery plan, administrative and financial decentralization, and a national defense strategy, which he said was the state’s responsibility to implement alone. This move hints at emerging friction between him and his allies within the heavily armed Hezbollah . . . At the same time, FPM head Gebran Bassil criticized Hezbollah-affiliated ministers for their role in the continued cabinet stalemate and called into question the viability of the Mar Mikhael agreement linking FPM, Amal, Marada, and Hezbollah. Others within that alliance were quick to defend the agreement but Bassil’s gesture exposes a liability in the current arrangement that may create opportunities for the opposition to take some seats away from the members of the alliance this May.”
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Arab Center Washington DC
The Need For An International Development Fund For Lebanon
Nabeel Khoury

Khoury writes, “An international fund that pools and targets foreign aid and is managed by an independent board of directors is a rational solution when compared to the prevailing fragmentation and politicization of aid for Lebanon. To be sure, it would be an ambitious, complicated, and difficult project to undertake, especially politically. Donor countries do not historically like to hand off their funds for some other entity to control and disburse. The political will must be there before the mechanism could be set in place. The motivation can be humanitarian in nature, elicited by the dire situation—such as humanitarian disaster, as is the case in Yemen, and impending state failure with serious social, economic, and security consequences, as is the case in Lebanon. The established need, however, will not lead to a concerted effort to help unless big powers, or an international organization like the United Nations, suggest it and exert leadership and influence to make it happen.” 
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Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in these articles are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the position of the American Task Force on Lebanon, a non-profit, nonpartisan leadership organization of Lebanese-Americans.