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Sunday, 7 November 2021

Lebanon is doing something to get back in Saudi’s good books + Sudan’s military is consolidating its grip on power

Lebanon doesn’t want to become the region’s new Qatar: Beirut is taking unspecified steps to try to resolve its diplomatic spat with Saudi Arabia, Reuters reports. Lebanon’s Prime Minister Najib Mikati has reportedly agreed with President Michel Aoun on a “roadmap” to patch up the row, according to a Lebanese presidency Twitter post made on Thursday.

Spat? What spat? Comments made in August by Lebanese Information Minister George Kurdahi about the Saudi-led war in Yemen struck a sour note throughout the GCC last week, with Riyadh expelling Lebanon's ambassador, banning all imports from Lebanon, and recalling its envoy for consultations. Bahrain and Kuwait also kicked out Lebanese diplomatic staff, while the UAE recalled its own diplomatic staff from Beirut.

Economic consequences ahead: Saudi state-owned companies have halted operations with Lebanese companies and the Head of the Federation of Saudi Chambers Ajlan Al Ajlan called on all Saudi companies to stop all commercial and economic activities with Lebanon.

Sudan’s military dissolved the boards of the country’s national companies and agricultural projects on Friday, Reuters reported, citing state-owned media, in military chief Abdel Fattah Al Burhan’s latest move to consolidate army rule following the 25 October coup.

International pressure is ramping up: The UN’s human rights council on Friday condemned the takeover. The ouster also has France reconsidering a plan to cancel some USD 5 bn in debt owed by the country, a French foreign ministry spokesperson told reporters on Friday.

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