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Chairman Shokeir, the Lebanese Economy Depends on Saudi Arabia and the GCC - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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Kataeb Party supporters protesting against the Lebanese administration failing to find a solution for the trash crisis on Feb. 29- EPA

Kataeb Party supporters protesting against the Lebanese administration failing to find a solution for the trash crisis on Feb. 29- EPA

Chairman of the General Union of Chambers of Commerce, Industry & Agriculture for Arab Countries in Lebanon Mohammed Shokeir revealed that Iran imports Lebanese products at no more than an annual $4.3 million worth.

Chairman Shokeir stated that Iran interdicts 90 percent of its national exports. Iranian exports, according to Shokeir, are experiencing their worst down days. Lebanon will stand “so that the enemies don’t take over the country”, he added.

“The Lebanese economy is established based on Gulf countries regardless of those who admit it or those who don’t”, Shokeir stated. He stressed that Lebanese economy does not exist without the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), and the argument can be proven by numbers.

“We can disagree in opinions, however, numbers cannot be denied”, he added. 75 percent of Lebanese agricultural exports head for GGC countries, along with 53 percent of industrial exports. Added to all that, 80 percent of foreign investment placed in Lebanon is provided by GCC countries, with 40 percent belonging to Saudi Arabia.

Moreover, Shokeir pointed out that over 550 thousand Lebanese people reside in Gulf countries. He highlighted that Lebanon, as a country, has received nothing but good-intended benefit from GCC members.

Shokeir added that Gulf countries supported Lebanon during the civil war, and the 2006 Israeli invasion. Saudi Arabia and its fellow Gulf countries have reconstructed Lebanon and the Southern Suburbs of Beirut. “We do not allow any political party to forcefully alter bilateral relationships with the GCC, because that would be considered a crime against the Lebanese people and their economy”, Shokeir added.

Saudi investment is extends to all Lebanese sectors. It is realized through ownership of hotels, oil cargo and distribution companies. It should be noted that thousands of Lebanese youths are employed in

these sectors. More importantly, employment has taken course with no religious or sectarian discrimination.

Shokeir explained that it is Saudi Arabia’s right to take measures against foreign investors who try to compromise Saudi security and stability, referring to recent sanctions imposed on agents and institutions affiliated to Hezbollah. Regardless of religion or sect, “I support the expulsion and deportation of anyone conducting illegitimate work in Saudi Arabia”, Shokeir said. With that right exercised, Saudi-Lebanese bilateral relationship and the fate of thousands of Lebanese people working there, remains intact.

Saudi Arabia, on Feb.27, has enlisted 4 firms in its index for terrorism. The firms proved their affiliation and support of the Lebanese-based Hezbollah. They have also backed Hezbollah military activities.

Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Interior has warned all country citizens and residents to refrain from engaging with Hezbollah, its members and its affiliated entities. The Ministry has classified and named members and institutions that are affiliated with the Hezbollah activity. Among those listed were: Fadi Hussein Sarhan (Lebanese National), Adel Mohammed Sheri (Lebanese National), and Ali Hussein Ze’ater (Lebanese National). Also, VATECH SARL, LE-HUA ELECTORONIC FIELD CO.LIMITED, AERO SKYONE CO.LIMITED, and LABICO SAL OFFSHORE, are among the companies listed by the Saudi Ministry of Interior.

Asharq Al-Awsat English

Asharq Al-Awsat English

Asharq Al-Awsat is the world’s premier pan-Arab daily newspaper, printed simultaneously each day on four continents in 14 cities. Launched in London in 1978, Asharq Al-Awsat has established itself as the decisive publication on pan-Arab and international affairs, offering its readers in-depth analysis and exclusive editorials, as well as the most comprehensive coverage of the entire Arab world.

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