Report: Lebanon Sees Diplomatic Flurry after Govt. Formation


After the formation of Lebanon’s government, the focus has turned now towards a diplomatic flurry seen in the Mediterranean country amid questions on whether it falls in Lebanon’s interest or turns it into a “regional mailbox” to send political messages, An Nahar daily reported on Monday.

The daily said that the regional and international atmospheres and the rush towards Lebanon “do not suggest a breakthrough, but rather warn of a race to benefit from all possible fields to make use of in the political war.”

While the U.S. Secretary of State has stressed that "Iran and Hizbullah have cells active in Venezuela,” as part of the expansion of restrictions on them, the Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Jawad Zarif arrived in Beirut on Sunday.

Moreover, Saudi envoy Nizar al-Alula, is expected to arrive in Beirut Tuesday evening. His visit will be the first for a Saudi envoy after the formation of Lebanon’s government.

Arab League chief Ahmed Abul Gheit has also arrived in Lebanon at midnight. His visit marks the beginning of Arab diplomatic contacts led by the League as part of efforts to return Syria to the League before the annual summit next March.

On February 25, European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini is expected in Beirut before she returns back to Europe from the Euro-Mediterranean conference to be held in Sharm el-Sheikh on the 24th and 25th of this month.

After arriving in Beirut on Sunday, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said his visit aims to “first, announce solidarity and stand by Lebanon, and the second is the Iranian republic’s declaration of its full readiness to support the Lebanese government in all fields.”

The military attaches of some Western embassies in Beirut have scrambled to inquire about Iran’s offer to equip the army with air defense systems, a media report said.

Lebanese ministerial sources meanwhile have said that “the inclination is to reject the grant, seeing as Iran is under international sanctions and this would pose unbearable repercussions on Lebanon.”