In their brotherly relations, Gulf countries have asked nothing from Lebanon but unity of Arab opinion and positions while confronting the many challenges facing the Arab world. The biggest challenge is Israel. During all the times it attacked Lebanon, only Arab countries - such as Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) - stood by us to rebuild what was destroyed.
Iran also helped with reconstruction, but its efforts came late and were limited to areas that benefit its allies, connecting Shiite towns to one another to allow Hezbollah more freedom of movement and to transfer weapons.
Economic interests link Lebanon to Gulf countries, not to Iran. Thousands of Lebanese have been working in the Gulf since the 1960s, transferring billions of dollars that contribute to developing Lebanon’s economy. Lebanon has no interest in being hostile to Arab countries, as this would weaken and harm it.
We cannot hold accountable any country that has decided to review its relations with Lebanon, but we can hold ourselves accountable, correct our mistakes and make up for our dereliction. We must not do so according to the logic of humiliation and submission, as some think, but according to the national spirit that maintains Lebanese interests.
Lebanon has no interest in being hostile to Arab countries, as this would weaken and harm it.Nayla Tueni
Doing otherwise would be to submit to schemes that serve the interests of the Iranian and Syrian regimes, not those of Lebanon. Such plans are obstructing presidential elections, ruining relations with brotherly countries, and pushing Lebanon to collapse.
Correcting an error is a virtue. If Hezbollah abides by the orders of Iran, which has pushed it into the Syrian swamp and prevented it from facilitating the process of electing a president in Lebanon, does Christian leader Michel Aoun accept to share responsibility with Hezbollah for harming Lebanese interests and livelihoods? Does he bear responsibility for Christians’ decision not to return to Lebanon if they are expelled from the Gulf?
The solution lies in Hezbollah returning to its senses and proving it is Lebanese, as it claims, in Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil’s resignation, and in decisive action by the prime minister, even if it leads to the cabinet’s resignation.
This article was first published in an-Nahar on Feb. 22, 2016.
Nayla Tueni is one of the few elected female politicians in Lebanon and of the two youngest. She became a member of parliament in 2009 and following the assassination of her father, Gebran, she is currently a member of the board and Deputy General Manager of Lebanon’s leading daily, Annahar. Prior to her political career, Nayla had trained, written in and managed various sections of Annahar, where she currently has a regular column. She can be followed on Twitter @NaylaTueni