Summary: A generation after the end of Lebanon’s civil war, the country still faces enormous internal and external challenges which continue to hold it back from fulfilling its potential. Login or Register To Unlock The Content!
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1 thought on “Lebanon: Losing the Peace?”
The visit of the Lebanese Prime Minister to Washington this week provided a classic example of the dangerous incompetence of the Trump administration.
One of the chronic problems Washington faces in its relations with Lebanon is how to reconcile its support for the Lebanese government with its hostility towards Hizbullah which is part of that government, with currently two ministers in the Cabinet and forces fighting IS alongside the Lebanese army. The problem is examined at length at link. http://arabcenterdc.org/policy_analyses/hariri-comes-to-washington-in-the-shadow-of-hezbollahs-wars/
How did President Trump handle the problem at his press conference https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2017/07/25/remarks-president-trump-and-prime-minister-hariri-lebanon-joint-press with Hariri? He commended the Lebanese people because “Lebanon is on the front lines in the fight against ISIS, Al Qaeda, and Hizballah” and went on later “Hizballah is a menace to the Lebanese state, the Lebanese people, and the entire region.” Asked by a journalist about Hizbullah’s role he said “I’ll be talking about that tomorrow” (it is not clear what he was referring to.)
Le Point described this as a “grosse bourde “(in British English a massive howler). Arab news said Hariri was “stunned”. It was not a slip of the tongue, but a semi-formal text read out by the President. Whoever drafted it, certainly without reference to the State Department, did not know his Lebanese ABC.