Lebanon Daily News Brief 11/1/2021
Gulf States Withdraw Ambassadors from Beirut
Over the weekend Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates and Kuwait pulled their ambassadors from Beirut in what is being considered a diplomatic crisis following the release of Lebanese Information Minister George Kordahi’s comments on the war in Yemen, which he called an “aggression.” [NY Times] Saudi Arabia’s foreign minister refuted the idea that KSA is experiencing a diplomatic crisis, but added that it does not see engagement with Beirut as “productive or useful.” [CNBC]
PM Miqati to Meet with Macron and Foreign Ministers in Glasgow
Prime Minister Najib Miqati is set to meet with French President Emmanuel Macron today at the UN climate summit in Glasgow. Miqati is also expected to meet with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken as well as foreign ministers of Turkey, Kuwait, and Egypt. Reports say that the prime minister will be insisting on Information Minister Kordahi’s resignation to resolve the crisis with Gulf states. [Naharnet]
Egypt’s Petrol Minister Says Gas Exports to Start by End of 2021
Egypt’s Minister of Petrol Tarek El Molla recently said in an interview that the country’s gas exports to Lebanon are expected to start by the end of the year. [The 961] As agreed upon by all four countries, the gas will flow from Egypt through Jordan and Syria to Lebanon. Jordan will generate electricity to be transferred through Syria’s grid to Lebanon.
OPINION & ANALYSIS
Protecting Justice From Political Interference
Majzoub writes, “We have found no evidence to suggest that Bitar is politicizing the Beirut blast probe. Yet, Hezbollah and the rest of the political establishment have upped the ante by demanding nothing less than Bitar’s removal from the case in a bid to undermine the investigation. The question is why. Yes, the investigation has implicated some Hezbollah members and their allies, as well as individuals from many of the major political parties in the country. But the course of this investigation also has implications for the future of justice in the country – which is why it must continue. Public, fair trials of those responsible for the Beirut blast could shatter the reigning culture of impunity in Lebanon. Fundamentally, the success or failure of the investigation will make clear if Lebanon is a country with rule of law, including against senior political and security officials who belong to powerful and previously untouchable political parties.”
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.