WikiLeaks: Jumblat Says ‘We Currently Don’t Need Democracy, But Money’

Progressive Socialist Party leader MP Walid Jumblat stressed in a number of leaked U.S. Embassy cables from 2006 and 2009 published exclusively in Al-Akhbar on Wednesday Lebanon’s need for funds after the July 2006 war.

A July 11, 2006, cable spoke of meeting between the MP and then U.S. Ambassador to Lebanon Jeffery Feltman during which he told him about his July 7 visit to Saudi Arabia which he said was aimed at convincing newly crowned Saudi King Abdullah to finance the March 14 camp.

He told the monarch that the funding “was aimed at confronting the Shiite expansion in Lebanon and the region.”

“King Abdullah was not receptive to the suggestion … his predecessor was much more generous,” noted Jumblat.

During a later cable, dated August 21, 2006, he said that the Lebanese government should “act quickly to defeat Hizbullah’s reconstruction efforts” after the July 2006 war.

Jumblat calculated that the some 200 million dollars would be needed to rebuild the 15,000 residential units destroyed during the war, saying: “This is a tiny figured compared to Hariri’s capabilities!”

“We currently don’t need democracy, but money,” the MP declared.

A May 14, 2009, cable revealed that Jumblat and a number of March 14 officials “finally received Saudi funds.”