E’ passato appena un mese dal 4 agosto 2020, data in cui 2.750 tonnellate di nitrato di ammonio abbandonate all’interno dell’area portuale di Beirut sono esplose causando un impatto così violento da essere registrato persino dall’isola di Cipro, a circa 240 chilometri dalla capitale del Libano. Il bilancio è disastroso, in termini di vite si contano più di 200 morti e migliaia di feriti, e inoltre, come se non bastasse, l’esplosione dell’area portuale, centro economico della città, ha peggiorato ulteriormente la situazione economica del Paese, ufficialmente in crisi dagli inizi di marzo, quando il premier Diab aveva dichiarato default, ma la cui precarietà ha radici ben più lontane. E da qui nell’arco di questo mese la classe politica ha quindi ceduto alle forti pressioni del popolo libanese, comportando così le dimissioni in blocco del governo alcuni giorni dopo l’esplosione; infatti il 10 agosto lo stesso Hassan Diab, primo ministro in carica da appena sette mesi, ha rassegnato le dimissioni dell’esecutivo di fronte al Presidente Michel Aoun, aggravando ulteriormente l’instabilità del Paese, che oramai non riesce più a garantire ai propri cittadini servizi essenziali come l’alimentazione, una carenza peraltro esacerbata dal disastro che ha distrutto circa l’85% delle scorte nazionali di cereali. Continue reading “La Francia dei Cedri a un mese dal disastro di Beirut” »
Ambassadors of 6 major countries sounded the alarm Friday over President Michel Aoun’s latest statements about Hezbollah’s arms, amid threats that the the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon or UNIFIL could withdraw its peacekeeping mission from south Lebanon. A meeting was held on February 15 at the United Nations headquarters in Yarze. It included ambassadors of the International Support Group for Lebanon, the US, France, Britain, Germany, Italy and China in addition to the EU ambassador and Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General in Lebanon and Arab League Representative. The meeting addressed three main issues: The upcoming parliamentary elections and the new electoral law, the security situation in Lebanon including backing the Lebanese Army, the International Brussels Conference on the Syrian crisis and the Syrian refugees in Lebanon.Talks highlighted the latest statement of Aoun during an official visit to Egypt, during which they said does not abide by resolution 1701, but merely reflects visions of a single Lebanese party. The US ambassador has however, revealed a tendency to pull the UNIFIL forces from southern Lebanon if the country does not abide by international conventions.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas held talks Thursday with President Michel Aoun at the Baabda Palace at the beginning of a three-day visit to Lebanon. After a bilateral meeting between the two leaders, the members of the Palestinian and Lebanese delegations joined the talks. “We agreed to coordinate stances and cooperate in a manner that serves the interests of our two countries and the causes of justice and peace for which we have offered dear sacrifices”, Aoun said at a joint press conference after the talks. “I stressed the importance of President Abbas’ role in preserving the stability of the (Palestinian refugee) camps so that they don’t turn into hubs for those seeking to take advantage of the Palestinian people’s plights” Aoun added, referring to extremist groups. Abbas stressed that Palestinian refugees in Lebanon are only “guests”. The Palestinian leader vowed to exert all efforts possible to achieve “their certain return to their homeland Palestine”. Abbas also said the Palestinian factions are committed to preserving security in refugee camps around Lebanon and that they stand against terrorism in all its forms. By long-standing convention, the Lebanese army does not enter the twelve Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon, leaving the Palestinian factions themselves to handle security.
Lebanese President Michel Aoun warned on Saturday that any Israeli attempt to violate Lebanon’s sovereignty would be met with the “appropriate response”, in a statement released by his office. It said Aoun was reacting to recent remarks in a letter at the United Nations by Israel’s U.N. ambassador Danny Danon, which amounted to a “masked attempt to threaten security and stability” in southern Lebanon, but did not say what the remarks were. Israeli Intelligence Minister Yisrael Katz said on Thursday that all of Lebanon would be a target if Hezbollah fired on Israel. Speaking in a meeting with visitors to the Baabda presidential palace, Aoun said on Saturday that Danon’s letter “constitutes a threat to Lebanon. The international community should be wary of Israel’s aggressive intentions against Lebanon”.
In light of the controversy that emerged after President Michel Aoun’s statement about Hezbollah’s weapons, Aoun stated on Tuesday that the future of the party’s arms will comply with Lebanon’s National Defense Strategy. “Lebanon, relative to its surroundings in terms of both human and economic power, is incapable of building a military force capable of confronting the enemy. Therefore it has to use special ways for fighting, involving regular (army) and popular forces. This is the idea that can be translated into a realistic plan” added the President. Numerous dangers threaten Lebanon, most of them coming from the Israeli enemy, and pose challenges for the State to face them by putting forth a National Defense strategy based on the Constitution, the laws, the requirements of coexistence and the resolutions of the international legitimacy.
President Michel Aoun on Monday started his first visit to Cairo since his election in October and held talks with his Egyptian counterpart Abdel Fattah al-Sisi. “Hopes of the role that Egypt could play are high. An Egypt of moderation and openness… could launch an Arab rescue initiative based on a strategy to fight terrorism,” Aoun said at a joint press conference. The two sides “agreed on the need to stand together against the dangers of terrorism,” Sisi said, adding that Egypt was ready “to support the capabilities of Lebanon’s army and its various security bodies”. On Tuesday, Aoun will visit Jordan at the invitation of Jordanian King Abdullah II.
The Baabda Presidential Palace has completed arrangements for President Michel Aoun’s trip to Egypt and Jordan next week, his second Arab trip after his election as president. On Monday, Aoun will first meet in Cairo with his Egyptian counterpart Abdul Fattah al-Sisi and Prime Minister Ibrahim Mahlab. He will later head to the Arab League headquarters for talks with its Secretary-General Ahmed AboulGheit. For their part, Lebanese ministers will hold meetings with their Egyptian counterparts. On Tuesday, Aoun will head to Jordan for talks with Jordanian King Abdullah II. The Lebanese-Jordanian summit will address the Syrian and Iraqi refugees crisis and study the ways to alleviate their impact on the economies of both countries.