Sunday, November 12, 2017

Lebanon - Saudi Coup d'État ?

As confrontation grows between Saudi Arabia and Iran, the unexpected retreat of Lebanon's prime minister Hariri while being in Riadh for talks with the Saudi Crown Prince has triggered off rumours of a militant Saudi move to replace Hariri with his hard-line brother Bahaa who might abandon a coalition of national agreement with Hizbollah that is seen by the Saudis as a protegee of Iran, both, in Lebanon where it was acting as a political party in Hariri's ruling coalition and in Syria where the military branch of Hizbollah is fighting side by side with Iranian units.

Animosities between Saudi Arabia and Iran derive as well from Iranian support for Houthi rebels in Yemen who are still being fought by a Saudi-led alliance. Tensions accelerated only recently when a missile from Yemen targeted the Saudi capital of Riadh.

Rumors of the virtual kidnapping of Lebanon's prime minister Hariri, who resigned last Saturday while in Saudi Arabia, have rocked the Arab world; Lebanese officials worry that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, or MBS as the 32-year-old crown prince is known, wants to force Lebanon into his confrontation with Iran. Some Lebanese analysts complain that the Saudis treat the Hariri family, who have been bankrolled by Riyadh for decades, almost as a wholly owned subsidiary.

According to well-informed Lebanese sources, the tale began on Monday, Oct. 30, when Hariri traveled to Saudi Arabia for a personal meeting with MBS. With the crown prince was Thamer al-Sabhan, his key adviser on relations with other Arab states.


Lebanese sources believe Hariri’s harder-line older brother Bahaa may be Riyadh’s candidate for prime minister. Other Hariri relatives were summoned to Riyadh last week but refused to go; it’s said that Bahaa was already there. The sources also say that Bahaa sent Safi Kalo, a close adviser, to meet secretly 10 days ago with Druze leader Walid Jumblatt to discuss future strategy for Lebanon, but Jumblatt is said to have left the meeting, refusing to discuss the subject.

The Washington Post article appeared on November 10, 2017, in an English and Arabic version.

لسعودية توقف بالقوة رئيس وزراء لبنان

Saudi [Arabia] Stopped Lebanon's Prime Minister by Force.

Lebanese PM Hariri (l) meeting with Saudi King Salman (r)

ـ"واشنطن بوست": هذه كواليس استقالة الحريري.. وبهاء أرسل مستشاره للقاء جنبلاط

Washington Post: That [] retreat of Hariri .........
and Bahaaa sending his coucillor to [] Jumblatt.

ونشرت الصحيفة الأميركية مقالاً للكاتب ديفيد اغناتيوس باللغة العربية ذكر فيه معلومات قال إنه حصل عليها من مصادر في لبنان

The American journal published an article written in Arabic by David Ignatius where he mentioned information which he said derived from Lebanese sources.

[Lebanon 24 لبنان quoting The Washington Post on November 12, 2017]

أخبار لبنان - رئيس لبنان يقول وضع الحريري "غامض وملتبس"ـ

Lebanon News - The Lebanese president says
the situation of Hariri is "incertain and confuse".

قال الرئيس اللبناني ميشال عون اليوم السبت إن كل ما صدر أو يمكن أن يصدر عن سعد الحريري “لا يعكس الحقيقة” بسبب غموض وضعه منذ أعلن الاستقالة من رئاسة وزراء البلاد الأسبوع الماضي

On Saturday [i.e. November 11], Lebanon's president Michel Aoun said, if all that was published or is possibly being published about Saed al-Hariri is "not reflecting reality", it might be because of confusion over his situation since he declared the retreat from the presidency of the nation's [council of] ministers last week.

[The Horizon News الأفق نيوز on November 12, 2017. News confirmed by Reuters.]


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