In the last two years Saudi Arabia has given over 2,875 million dollars for the reconstruction of the Lebanese regions after the July war. One thousand million dollars of this money was deposited in the Central bank and another 1,000 million dollars was the amount of money that Saudi Arabia had pledged to give, at the Paris 3 Conference. The latest Saudi aid to Lebanon was 44 million dollars to meet the needs of the current academic year.
This is the Saudi aid to Lebanon. It is clear, open, with defined objectives. It does not give anyone the opportunity to speculate and claim that the Saudi aid is meant for just one region of the country and not the rest of it.
Beefing up the economy, rebuilding what the July war has destroyed, and promoting the education sector in Lebanon are objectives that do not allow for speculations and simplification, and they are not based on discrimination and sectarianism. A Lebanese official source last Monday evening [ 13 October] quoted the custodian of the two holy mosques, King Abdullah Bin-Abdulaziz, as affirming to President Michel Suleiman that Saudi Arabia is standing on the side of all Lebanese, without any discrimination, and as saying: “Look, we are not supporting anyone to the detriment of another. We are on the side of everybody in Lebanon; we love everybody in the same way. We do not expect anything in return for our love of Lebanon.” King Abdullah’s words are an expression of reality. Saudi Arabia attaches interest to Lebanon as a whole and to all the Lebanese, without any discrimination between one sect and another. Saudi Arabia does it without any hullabaloo, propaganda, or arrogance, and it does not care about allegations deliberately made by some newsmen. The latter exaggerate and celebrate aid offered to Lebanon by others but they turn a blind eye and ignore the aid offered by Saudi Arabia. They believe that people do not make a distinction between the clear, frank, and principled positions taken by Saudi Arabia and the aid contributions made by some quarters in a selective, categorizing manner that deepens divisions between the Lebanese. In fact observers knowingly and deliberately praise the Saudi position. They realize that Saudi Arabia supports all efforts to unite, not divide the Lebanese, and that it is trusted by the reasonable people in Lebanon.
Saudi Arabia wants a return of stability to Lebanon. It wants to see Lebanon’s splendid culture of love and peace shine again. It wants to see again a Lebanon that is proud of its symbol – the cedar – beautiful, resplendent, and harmonious, with all its population strata, together.
This is what Saudi Arabia wants to see take place in Lebanon, and these are the objectives of its assistance to Lebanon. It is a reality. In this case, fog cannot cloud the view.