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After Nasrallah and Macron’s speeches, what will happen to the French initiative in Lebanon?

After the speech of French President Emmanuel Macron, in which he accused the Lebanese political class of “betraying its pledges to his country and the international community,” the speech of Hezbollah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah came to clarify his position on the path of the French initiative that led to the faltering formation of a government headed by Mustafa Adib.

In form, Nasrallah focused in his speech on 3 dimensions in the government file and the French initiative. Internally, he held the four former heads of government (Saad Hariri, Najib Mikati, Tammam Salam and Fouad Siniora) responsible for obstructing the formation of the government, and accused them of exploiting the French initiative in their favor.

The four previous heads of government issued a statement expressing their regret for Nasrallah’s avoiding the truth to this degree, in the account he gave about Adeeb’s efforts to form a rescue government, and the reasons that led to its failure.

And externally, Nasrallah linked the failure of the formation of the government to an international atmosphere pressuring him, calling on Macron to search for the Americans and the speech of Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz, to reveal those who failed his initiative.

Nasrallah kept the door open to the French initiative, on condition of adherence to the principles of communication, after the French president “harmed national dignity,” as he put it.

Former Lebanese heads of government, from the right, Tammam Salam, Saad Hariri, Fouad Siniora and Najib Mikati (communication sites)

An internal reading of Nasrallah’s speech

Writer and political analyst Faisal Abdel Sater (who is close to Hezbollah) believes that the basis for Nasrallah’s speech is not to close the door to the French initiative, which Macron gave an additional period of 4 to 6 weeks to form a government.

What was remarkable in Nasrallah’s speech – according to Abd al-Sater – was his emphasis on mandatory participation in any future government, in order to preserve the interests of the Lebanese and to monitor the negotiation process with the International Monetary Fund, “without handing over the formation process to former heads of government who are part of a parliamentary minority.”

Therefore, Abdel Sater indicates – in a statement to Al-Jazeera Net – that the Secretary-General of Hezbollah was able to consolidate his right with the “Amal Movement” to name their ministers and keep the financial portfolio, “based on the principle of necessity, for their participation in the Lebanese political decision in the midst of a fateful stage the country is going through.” .

Abdul-Sater considers that the origin of Nasrallah’s position was the refusal to give the four former presidents the opportunity to take advantage of external pressure on Hezbollah to be the shadow heads in the government, in composition and composition, in a manner that is not in line with norms and the results of the 2018 parliamentary elections, in which Hezbollah and its allies won a majority. Seats.

A sectarian dimension in Nasrallah’s speech

But the member of the political bureau in the “Future Movement”, Mustafa Alloush, goes to another place in reading Nasrallah’s speech, which he described as sectarian, and told Al-Jazeera Net that this speech was coordinated and directed to divert the path of Nasrallah’s disagreement with the French to his internal opponents, specifically from the Sunni community.

Alloush said that Nasrallah resorted to addressing the Christians in support of his position, by reminding them that he is “their safety valve against takfiri Sunni terrorism, after the emergence of a terrorist cell affiliated with ISIS (ISIS) in northern Lebanon last week.”

Alloush is anxious to remind Nasrallah of the May 5, 2008 government headed by Fouad Siniora, “which was then followed on May 8 by the party members’ invasion of Beirut in black shirts.”

But Abd al-Sater rejects this link, and considers that Nasrallah’s fear of going to a government similar to the May 5 government “which was discredited because the Shiite community is not represented in it,” is to inform the Lebanese public opinion of the dangers of forming governments of one color, from This does not mean that every project of the May 5 government will be followed by a new May 7.

The fate of the French initiative?

Professor and researcher in law at Beirut Arab University, Ali Murad, believes that the French initiative was frozen with clinical death pending the consequences of the American election results, and that Macron in his last speech, in one way or another, mourned his initiative in the harsh attack on the political forces in Lebanon, after he was betting on their assistance to him. In making his initiative successful.

And Murad considers – in a statement to Al Jazeera Net – that Macron’s awareness of the French initiative does not cancel his ambition to establish a new role for him in Lebanon after the American elections. Therefore, “Nasrallah kept the door open to the French initiative, because he will not sacrifice an opportunity to negotiate with a European country and an international player. Like France. “

However, does “obeying” the French initiative mean the end of its content? Murad replies that “this initiative has taken a blow at its core since the announcement of the US sanctions that affected the most prominent Shiite figure (Ali Hassan Khalil) in the executive authority, after he took over the finance portfolio for more than 5 years.”

Mourad believes that the main dilemma after the speeches of Macron and Nasrallah is that the latter has not shown any willingness to make any concessions to be counted on the regional and local levels in favor of the French, and said that “forming the government will remain the main entrance for the French towards Lebanon, despite the fact that the French initiative formulated after The explosion in the port on 4 August has ended. “

Lebanon after the two speeches

Mustafa Alloush excludes forming a government soon, and believes that the fate of the French initiative in Lebanon is linked to the identity of the new American president. During this period, he expects more “tension, adventures and insecurity through terrorist networks that Nasrallah invests in.”

As for Faysal Abdel Sater, he fears that France will yield to American dictations, and reminds of the danger of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu entering the line before Nasrallah’s speech, in his speech to the United Nations General Assembly, “in which he claimed the existence of facilities to manufacture materials for precision missiles in the Jnah area.” Abdel-Sater said that Netanyahu “shot himself politically and provided a valuable opportunity to Hezbollah in front of public opinion, while Nasrallah waits for the French reaction after his speech.”

For his part, Ali Murad considers that, after the two speeches, Lebanon has entered a stalled phase, and he excludes inviting President Michel Aoun to conduct parliamentary consultations to appoint a new prime minister before the US elections. Murad mentioned that the new administration will not receive it before 5 months, to ask: Can the situation in Lebanon tolerate this bet?

Murad expects Lebanon to return to government before August 4, by activating Hassan Diab’s government, which was unable to “take any political decision outside the framework of the Corona file, which was in its content and is still a caretaker government that consumes lost time.”

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