Outgoing Defense Minister Zeina Akar has been appointed interim foreign minister to replace Charbel Wehbé who had asked to be relieved of his post for the time being because of comments he made accusing Saudi Arabia of ” having encouraged the terrorist organization Daesh to expand into Syria, Iraq and Lebanon during a televised debate. As a reminder, his Saudi interlocutor had previously attacked the President of the Republic, General Michel Aoun, accusing him of being at the origin of the extension of Iran’s influence in the region.
Zeina Akar, who will now have two caps, initially refused this nomination before accepting. The decree appointing her to this post was sent from the office of Prime Minister Hassan Diab to the Presidency of the Republic.
This situation comes as sources close to Saudi power had asked the outgoing minister to be removed from the Bustros Palace after accusing “certain brother countries”, alluding to Saudi Arabia, of having allowed the terrorist organization Daesh to settle in Syria, Iraq and Lebanon, in response during a heated debate to a Saudi official who strongly attacked the President of the Republic accused of allowing Iran to influence the Lebanese situation via Hezbollah. Charbel Wehbé also recalled that Hezbollah had defended the sovereignty of Lebanon against Israel, a country with which the relations of Arab countries have recently improved despite the current situation in Palestine.
For its part, the presidency of the republic had clarified yesterday that these words constitute a personal opinion and not the official position of Lebanon.
In Lebanon itself, the words of the Minister of Foreign Affairs were taken to task by the Sunni community, generally close to Saudi Arabia. They were thus denounced by the prime minister designate Saad Hariri or the mufti of the republic, Sheikh Abdel Latif Derian,
These tensions come as the situation between Lebanon and Saudi Arabia has been somewhat complicated by Riyadh’s decision to ban the import of food products from Lebanon, a country whose economy is ravaged by the crisis. economic. The Saudi kingdom justified its decision by seizing several shipments of drugs from the Land of the Cedars. Beirut, for its part, stressed that the latest seizures may not come from Lebanon, the export certificates having been forged.