Lebanon’s politicians and the new government have not made any decisions to help the country and its people, Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan said Friday.
“They [politicians] need to make a real choice to lift Lebanon out of the morass it is in now. We have so far not seen that they have made that decision,” Prince Faisal said during a briefing with reporters in Washington.
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“The responsibility for that lies squarely on the shoulders of the Lebanese leadership,” he added.
Citing the deadly clashes on Thursday in Beirut between Hezbollah and Amal supporters with unidentified gunmen, the Saudi diplomat said he was worried about the situation in Lebanon.
Prince Faisal said the violence was proof that “Lebanon needs real, serious change.”
He said the international community needed to be focused on “substantial change, rather than short-term fixes.”Saudi Arabia has withdrawn much of its political and financial support for Lebanon after decades of being one of its number one supporters. A primary reason for this change in posture has been Iran-backed Hezbollah’s increased influence and sway over the country.
“I think we are going to continue to give advice, but I’ll leave it at that.”
Prince Faisal also voiced concern over the economic situation in Lebanon. “That’s why it’s imperative that the leaders of Lebanon take serious action rather than this approach of trying to paper over the problems and the issues. I think, if they want to prevent a serious situation, they need to take action,” he said.
According to the Saudi FM, Prime Minister Najib Mikati has not received an invite to visit the Kingdom.