As the world’s attention is focused on the Middle East, Lebanese President Michel Aoun spoke exclusively on RT’s Alex Salmond Show, touching on the country’s recent political crisis and the possibility of a new military conflict with Israel.
Salmond asked Lebanon’s leader if the political crisis that recently hit the Middle Eastern country really has been resolved.
“I am confident, because there are no disagreements between the Lebanese about settling this crisis and I don’t think that those who created this crisis will repeat it again,” Aoun said.
The political situation in Lebanon took an unexpected twist after Prime Minister Saad Hariri announced his resignation while in Saudi Arabia, accusing Iran and Hezbollah of a “desire to destroy the Arab world.” He then put the resignation on hold after returning to Lebanon via France and consulting Aoun. During his December trip to Italy, Aoun said that the political crisis in Lebanon was over.
The events around Hariri’s resignation triggered a war of words between world powers, not least Saudi Arabia, Israel and Iran. While Tehran’s senior officials claimed that US President Donald Trump and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman were behind the crisis, Riyadh insisted that Hariri’s security had “confirmed information” about the assassination plot against him.
Speaking about the possibility of Israel’s incursion into Lebanese soil, Aoun ruled out an imminent Israeli war on Lebanon: “After the July 2006 war Israel will no longer attack Lebanon because it would not be able to penetrate the Lebanese fronts.”
That conflict is also known as the July War in Lebanon, as it broke out in July-August 2006. More than 1,000 people died in the war, mainly on the Lebanese side. In November this year the head of the Lebanese Army asked the military to be at “full readiness” to face “the Israeli enemy” on the southern border. The announcement came as Arab nations, including Saudi Arabia, vowed to tighten their grip on Lebanon’s Hezbollah militia.
Watch the full episode of the Alex Salmond Show featuring President Aoun on Thursday.
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