Lebanon Daily News Brief 12/6/2021

Monday, December 6, 2021


Macron Announces Initiative to Resolve Diplomatic Row Between Lebanon and the Gulf
Last Friday, Lebanon’s Information Minister George Kordahi turned in his resignation. There was a push to confirm Kordahi’s resignation before French President Emmanuel Macron’s visit to Riyadh that weekend. [NY Times] On Saturday Macron announced a Saudi-French initiative to resolve the diplomatic crisis between Lebanon and Gulf states. In an “important step” towards a resolution, Macron and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman spoke with Prime Minister Najib Miqati in a joint phone call with future plans to talk with President Michel Aoun.. [Reuters] Both Aoun and Speaker Nabih Berri said they are satisfied with the movement toward better relations and Miqati has called on all parties in Lebanon to mind the sensitivity of the situation. The talks so far have linked “economic aid to Lebanon with the implementation of required reforms.” [Arab News]

Reported Progress Toward Resumption of Cabinet Meetings
Cabinet sessions remain delayed but there are reports that progress is being made toward their resumption. Amal and Hezbollah sources said that there will not be a solution to the government crisis until there is an agreement to restore the role of the Higher Council for the Trial of Presidents and Ministers. This means referring former prime ministers and ministers to the Higher Council for those who are summoned in the Beirut Port explosion case. [Naharnet] The Free Patriotic Movement and other parties have rejected political interference in Lebanon’s judiciary, but FPM is reported to be showing some flexibility on this matter. [Naharnet]

US Embassy Launches “Digital Mothers” Program
Over the weekend the US Embassy in Lebanon launched the “Digital Mothers” training program in Tripoli. The program will train 68 mothers of school children on technology and English and teach “skills that will help them, their children, and their communities.” The Digital Mothers program will offer 200 hours of digital literacy and English language lessons over the next year to help mothers assist their children’s learning. [US Embassy]


Foreign Affairs
America is Not Withdrawing from the Middle East
Dalia Dassa Kaye

Kaye writes, “In this moment of strategic flux, the United States has an opportunity to do things differently—to develop and implement a strategy for development and equity. Instead of outsize military investments, it could invest in solutions to the socioeconomic and governance challenges preventing a better life for the region’s citizens. The United States, along with its wealthy allies, could help partners that want to transform the region from a set of problems to a set of possibilities. Either way, the United States and the Middle East are not going to part ways—but Washington should seize the chance to be part of the solution, not part of the problem.”

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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.