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Lebanon Fears Security Deterioration Under Economic Crisis Pressure

Lebanon Fears Security Deterioration Under Economic Crisis Pressure

Thursday, 6 February, 2020 - 12:45
Protesters' tents in Martyr's Square, Down Town Beirut. Asharq Al-Awsat

Prominent political forces revealed that the leadership of Lebanese security apparatuses fear that Lebanon’s security situation may deteriorate, telling Asharq Al-Awsat that they submitted reports in this regard to the parties concerned, heads of the state and members of the government, asking how would they deal with these reports, and whether they would take them seriously and address the dangers that may arise, especially since it threatens the “social security” of most Lebanese.

The political sources warned that many of those who consider themselves consultants of prominent politicians are downplaying the dangers and dealing with them as though they aim to undermine the new government as it prepares to release its ministerial statement during Monday's cabinet session ahead of appearing before parliament to request its confidence. The sources also stressed that the government should announce a plan for maximizing mobilization to confront the possibility of security deterioration facing the country immediately after gaining the confidence of parliament.

The same sources also said that the opposition, parties which “used to be part of March 14" will not rush to undermine the government. This decision was taken despite the growing hostility between them and President Michel Aoun because they believe that this would make it impossible for him to blame their obstructive efforts for the government’s failure.

The opposition is now assessing the actions and decisions it had taken, where it made mistakes and where it acted correctly, throughout the time it spent as part of the government, which Saad Hariri is expected to do in his speech marking the 15th anniversary of his father’s death on February the 14th.

Expectedly, leader of the Free Patriotic Movement Gebran Bassil will be Harir's primary target since he orchestrated the coup against the settlement, impaired the government’s work and damaged Lebanon’s relationship with the Arab world and the international community.

However, there are questions over whether or not President Aoun will also be addressed in the speech. The same questions apply to Lebanese Forces Leader Samir Geagea, who has been invited to attend but whose relationship with Hariri is very strained, especially after Geagea refused to name Hariri to head the government. Will they be able to repair their relationship since they both need each other, as Hariri needs a Christian and Geagea needs a Muslim ally? The Shiite duo, the Amal Movement and Hezbollah will not be ignored either. Their relationship is currently in a stage of positive coexistence, based on managing disputes on the grounds of "conflict solving", although this process used to oscillate constantly in the past.

Jumblatt, until further notice, is most capable of communicating with the Future Movement, the Lebanese Forces and the Kataeb, to maintain ties among the former coalition partners in light of the estrangement that dominates the Hariri-Geagea relationship. However, two things do bring these parties' together politically: the first is making peace with the government for a period and testing its leader Hassan Diab's ability to manage the economic decline, considering the ministerial statement to be merely for local consumption, and the second is assessing its performance based on its ability to compel the international community to meet its request for assistance, thereby preventing the situation from getting worse.

To sum up, the opposition, though it is not unified, is postponing its confrontation with the government without walking back on its enmity to the president.

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