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Saudi Arabia will hold back from the Lebanese morass

Wednesday, June 30, 2021


Long-term patron Riyadh has become increasing impatient with Beirut in recent years, largely because of the growing dominance of Tehran-linked factions. This year, Saudi Arabia has also been angered by a sharp influx of amphetamine pills smuggled via an increasingly dysfunctional Lebanon.


  • If Hezbollah were weakened or a Saudi-Iranian-Syrian rapprochement changed the regional environment, Riyadh could return.
  • A new ‘technocratic’ government promising structural changes might entice more Gulf countries to reinvest in Lebanon.
  • Disillusioned with premier-designate Saad al-Hariri, Riyadh may pick a new Sunni leader to favour, perhaps Hariri's older brother Bahaa.

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