For three consecutive days, United Arab Emirates Minister of State for Foreign Affairs hosted Taimur Jumblatt, Sami Gemayel and Melhem Al-Riyashi in his country. Abu Dhabi intended to give its visitors (some maintained the secrecy of the visit or, in other words, were “dishonest” about its objective) the impression that it’s still present in the Lebanese arena. Within this impression, Abu Dhabi wanted to deliver a message about the beginning of shifts in attitudes on regional level, especially towards Syria.
Deputies Taimur Jumblatt and Wael Abu Faour met last Thursday with UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Anwar Mohammad Gargash. Gargash welcomed on Friday deputy Sami Gemayel, the Phalange leader, and former deputies Saleem Al-Sayegh and Alan Hakim. As for Sturday, Gargash hosted a dinner for Melhem Al-Riyashi, a Lebanese minister who belongs to the Lebanese Forces Party.
Jumblatt stated that he visited Abu Dhabi “pursuant to the invitation of the Lebanese Labour Council” where he met the Lebanese community. He later went to Dubai to meet with the Lebanese community and the electoral machinery of the Progressive Socialist Party (PSP). Unlike Jumblatt, Gemayel “acknowledged” his visit bragging about receiving “an invitation from UAE leadership”. As for the visit of Melhem Al-Riyashi, caretaker Information Minister, it was confidential in nature. It was noticeable that, unlike Gemayel and Jumblatt who traveled alongside with a delegation, UAE invited Riyashi to come alone as a representative to the Lebanese Forces Party. Duets of “March 14”, i.e. the representatives of the Phalange party and Lebanese Forces Party, arrived “together” at the United Arab Emirates on the same flight. It was sort of “coincidental” that the three of them visited UAE at the same time; they also “by chance” met the same person, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, separately. It should be noted that the visit came prior to the Lebanese government formation. That’s the lie they want us to believe.
United Arab Emirates Ambassador to Lebanon Hamad Saeed al-Shamsi organized the three visits. The diplomat, who comes from an Intelligence background, becomes super active when he feels that Saudi Arabia is no longer directly intervening in local events, hoping to fill the void. He believes that “leaving the Lebanese arena merely to Hezbollah” isn’t a choice. Al-Shamsi’s problem is that his country doesn’t “ play” in regional arenas unless under the patronage of Saudi Arabia. One of the Lebanese officials presented, as an example to clarify the previous point, the political funds offered by UAE. Each penny “Abu Dhabi pays to Lebanese parties is approved by Saudi Arabia”. The mentality of UAE Ambassador to Lebanon as well as his policy, which is pursued by Abu Dhabi and Riyadh in dealing with Lebanon, are making it hard to believe that the three visits were out of good will, knowing that their sources want to promote it as “ a visit to reassure the allies that UAE has their back and concerned in the Lebanese affairs”.
A translated excerpt from an Al-Akhbar Newspaper article
Source: Al-Akhbar Newspaper