Saturday, October 30, 2021

Bin Salman kidnaps Lebanon and asks the Gulf states to exert maximum political and commercial pressure: Saudi Arabia is losing in Marib and attacking in Beirut

    Saturday, October 30, 2021   No comments

Media Review: Lebanon in the News


Just like on November 4, 2017, the day Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman decided to kidnap the Prime Minister of Lebanon, Saad Hariri, and force him to resign. Yesterday, Bin Salman decided to kidnap the entire Lebanese government, and force it to kneel before him, or to leave, under the pretext of statements made by Minister of Information George Qardahi, before his appointment as a minister, in which he criticized the aggression on Yemen. And as 4 years ago, so was last night. As soon as the Saudi regime announced the withdrawal of its ambassador from Beirut, the expulsion of the Lebanese ambassador in Riyadh, and the cessation of imports from Lebanon, the same media outlets, and the politicians themselves, went out to cover the madness of Ibn Salman and his decision to pressure Lebanon and push it into submission. For example, the head of the Lebanese Forces party, Samir Geagea - who was the only politician whom the Saudi ambassador, Walid al-Bukhari, visited publicly before announcing his withdrawal from Beirut - delivered a clear threat to the Lebanese: “There is a very big rolling crisis between the Gulf states and the Lebanese government. The current government majority is called upon to take a quick, decisive and clear decision to spare the Lebanese people more tragedies.” Meanwhile, former MP Walid Jumblatt was clearer than Geagea, in terms of his demand for the dismissal of "this minister who will destroy our relations with the Gulf."

Sources linked to the Saudi regime confirmed that Riyadh wants to overthrow the government of Najib Mikati, so either the latter and his government submit, with what this means by opening the door for concessions that will not stop at an end, or he resigns. The new Saudi position seems to have taken statements made by Minister Qardahi, before the formation of the government, as a pretext to attack Lebanon, due to the failure of Ibn Salman's forces in Yemen, specifically in the battle of Marib. In its statement in which it announced the withdrawal of its ambassador from Beirut and the expulsion of the Lebanese ambassador in Riyadh, the Saudi government repeated lies about Lebanon's lack of cooperation with it in the field of drug control, despite the fact that the majority of drug seizures in Saudi ports are based on information from the Lebanese security services. But the most important thing in the statement is the repetition of talk about Hezbollah and its “control” of Lebanon, and “providing support and training for the terrorist Houthi militia.”

Saudi Arabia's decision to escalate in Lebanon will be joined by other Gulf states, the first of which was, as usual, Bahrain, which at night copied Riyadh's measures (expulsion of the Lebanese ambassador). While it was reported that Qatar and Oman would not trade with Saudi Arabia, Riyadh decided to conduct a series of contacts with other Arab countries in an attempt to take a decision in the Arab League against Lebanon!

What happened remains within the framework of a new adventure for bin Salman, unless the United States and France decide to adopt it. In that case, Lebanon will face a major decision to drag it into total chaos, which supports the argument of those convinced of it, the US sanctions decision issued the day before yesterday against Representative Jamil Al-Sayed and businessmen Jihad Al-Arab and Danny Khoury. However, the information that was available yesterday indicated that American and French contacts with Mikati, urging him not to resign, with “the need to address the emerging problem with Saudi Arabia.”

Mikati rushed to contact the President of the Republic, General Michel Aoun. After a statement expressing his regret for the Saudi decision, he called Minister Qardahi and "asked him to assess the national interest and take the appropriate decision to reform Lebanon's Arab relations," according to a statement issued by the prime minister's office. This statement means an encouragement from Mikati to Qardahi to resign. Prior to that, Hezbollah had informed the Prime Minister that any attempt to dismiss the Minister of Information in the Council of Ministers (this decision requires two-thirds of the members of the government) would mean the resignation of the party's ministers. Attempts were made to put pressure on former MP Suleiman Franjieh, as he named Qardahi to the ministry, but the Marada leader refused to pressure the minister and push him to resign. Pending what the Minister of Information will decide, the Prime Minister decided not to cut short his visit to Scotland, where he is participating in the United Nations Climate Change Conference.

Sources in contact with the Saudi authorities said that Riyadh has informed its allies in Lebanon since the day before yesterday that it is in the process of escalating steps against Lebanon. In parallel, the Saudis expressed their “disappointment” that the reactions to Qardahi’s words were limited to statements of denunciation, amid expectations that ministers affiliated with the Future Movement and the Socialist Party would resign from the government, as well as popular movements in a number of Lebanese regions denouncing what Qardahi had made. .

The sources pointed out that Saudi Arabia, which heard requests slowly from Qatar and Kuwait, hastened to take its steps and is awaiting similar measures soon from others, especially the United Arab Emirates, which had not announced any action.

In addition to these steps, Saudi Arabia appeared to be acting very angry, and the callers said that Saudi diplomacy was talking about a failure in the Iranian-Saudi negotiations on Iraq, Yemen and Lebanon. Riyadh has sought with Damascus, through the Emirati side, to play a role in the Yemen file and in the Lebanon file as well, in return for Riyadh helping to return Syria to the Arab League and communicating with the Europeans and Americans to open the door for aid in the reconstruction process.

As for the position of the allies in Lebanon, the Saudi side deliberately limited the ambassador’s visits to Geagea without other prominent leaders, and that he clearly expressed the continuation of the estrangement with Prime Minister Saad Hariri and the Future Movement, and that Riyadh will not ask the latter for any step “and he knows what must be done.” doing it".

Bin Salman kidnaps Lebanon and asks the Gulf states to exert maximum political and commercial pressure: Saudi Arabia is losing in Marib and attacking in Beirut

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Source: «الأخبار» 

Friday, October 29, 2021

To limit Iran's influence in Syria, US should lift sanctions on Syria, Putin tells Bennett

    Friday, October 29, 2021   No comments

Reporting by Axios suggested that Russia's Putin sought Israel's help in easing U.S. sanctions on Syria. Here is our summary of the hypothetical exchange presumed to have happened between the two:

  • Bennett: I want Iran to have less influence in Syria.
  • Putin: who do you think should help Syria recover from the 10 year war so that it would not seek help from Iran for it?
  • Bennett: Russia and Russian companies. You are already there. 
  • Putin: Russian government is there. But Russian companies are afraid to go there because of US sanctions. 
  • Bennett: Why aren't Iranian government and Iranian companies afraid to do business in Syria?
  • Putin: Because they are already under US sanctions. What are they going to be afraid of? Maximum-maximum pressure?
  • Bennett: Oh, S&^%!  That sucks! What can be done then?
  • Putin: Ask your friends in the US to lift the sanctions on Syria so that Russian, and possibly Western companies, can take away business from the Iranians, which will diminish their influence, which you are seeking.
  • Bennett: I guess we will have to. We will also call on our Gulf allies, especially those who signed on the Abraham Accord, to go back to doing business in Syria then. 



The original reporting by Axios:  

Saturday, October 16, 2021

Sanaa Government Likely to impose and end to the war with its imminent control over the richest province in Yemen

    Saturday, October 16, 2021   No comments

 Oct. 15, 2021

The government of the outgoing president, Abd Rabbo Mansour Hadi, lost the 12th district of the Marib governorate, after the latter fell yesterday, to the Yemeni army and the "People's Committees", following bloody battles that lasted for several days, and the failure of air support by the Saudi-Emirati coalition. in resolving it in the interest of his allies. This development came in the wake of the coalition's refusal to respond to the tribal mediation that intervened to prevent bloodshed in the district, bearing in mind that Abdiya had symbolically fallen since late last month, with the army and "committees" closing in on it from all directions, and giving them an opportunity for Hadi forces' fighters to get out safely. with their own weapons.

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