Beirut, Riyadh-Lebanon has become under the “Gulf Review” after the members of the Gulf Cooperation Council have declared their backing up for Saudi Arabia’s decision to halt a $4bn arms deals with the Lebanese Armed Forces and Internal Security Forces.
Therefore, they issued a statement saying: “The members of the GCC back up the decision which the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia made in response to Lebanon’s official positions that contravene pan-Arab consensus and are not in line with the deep relations between the GCC and Lebanon and the great support extended by Saudi Arabia and other GCC members.”
Meanwhile, Hezbollah and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs are facing much more criticism following the latest Saudi Arabian stance; while efforts have not succeeded yet to hold a cabinet meeting following the request by the Future Party to discuss the ministry’s foreign policy due to the hesitation of the Prime Minister, Tammam Salam, to call for holding this session fearing the government’s fate.
Saudi ambassador to Lebanon, Ali Awad Asiri, told Asharq Al-Awsat that his country’s embassy is carefully watching the Lebanese reaction towards the Saudi decision, especially the non-Lebanese irresponsible media that serves non-Lebanese interests. Asiri added: “the image is clear now; there are parties that want to destroy Lebanon and parties that want to protect it.”
From his part, Interior Minister Nouhad al-Mashnouq, told Asharq Al-Awsat that the Saudi decision came very late. He confirmed that Lebanon’s choice will “always be Arab no matter what the cost.” He added: “We have paid dearly in the past ten years for defending this stance and we are ready and persevering along this path”.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued a statement explaining Jebran Bassil’s stances, indicating that its stance and conduct are primarily based on the Ministerial cabinet Statement and expressed in full coordination with the Prime Minister, Tammam Salam.
Democratic Gathering Head, MP Walid Jumblatt, warned from the situation of hundreds of thousands of Lebanese people in the Gulf. He hoped that Saudi’s support would continue “so as to enable the Army to confront the rising terrorist threats,” and called for “abstaining from any positions that would further aggravate tension and worsen relations.”