Middle east

Hariri returns to Beirut with a new look for a new phase 

Political parties see Hariri's return as an opportunity to break free from the stagnation that has gripped Lebanon in recent years 

Former Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri began his return to Beirut with a meeting with the caretaker Prime Minister Najib Mikati at the government headquarters, coinciding with the ninth anniversarys of his father’s assassination. This year’s commemoration carried particular symbolism amid calls for his return to the political arena to form a rescue government in a country spiraling towards collapse. Lebanese hopes are pinned on him amidst a blocked horizon across all fronts.

Hariri returns with a new look, raising questions about whether this change in appearance will also bring about a political change after the man withdrew for a long period following the collapse of all attempts to form a government during the tenure of former Lebanese President Michel Aoun. Additionally, there was a decline in Hariri‘s popularity and that of his party, along with financial failures and crises. Sources indicate that the decline in Saudi support for the former Lebanese Prime Minister was among the primary reasons for his withdrawal.

Days before Hariri‘s return, signs of support and welcome were raised through posters and banners in various Lebanese areas, especially in Beirut, Sidon, Bekaa, Tripoli, and Akkar, expressing a desire for his return to the political scene. Supporters of the Future Movement are preparing to gather in Martyrs’ Square next Wednesday, February 14th, to send a message to Hariri urging him to halt his political hiatus and remain in Lebanon to rectify the imbalance in the national arena and fill the void in the Sunni sphere.

Hariri‘s return to Beirut was closely followed by supporters of the Future Movement on social media platforms and details of his first appearance from the government palace. The hashtag #SaadHariri topped the list of most discussed topics in Lebanon, sparking numerous comments and questions. Some expressed hope that this cosmetic change would be accompanied by a political shift in the country. While the dimensions and goals of this visit spark much debate and discussion, every word spoken about it and its implications remains within the realm of analysis and aspirations, as Hariri himself has not yet spoken.

Hariri is scheduled to participate in a celebration mainly through a large popular gathering of Future Movement supporters at Rafik Hariri‘s shrine in downtown Beirut on Wednesday. Hariri‘s supporters have been mobilized in various regions for over a week under the slogan “Come Down, You Shall Return,” aiming to urge Hariri to return to political action.

Hariri will meet with Lebanese figures and authorities during his stay in Beirut, although his meeting schedule has not been announced, nor has the duration of his stay in Lebanon. However, many political parties see his return as an opportunity to break free from the stagnation that has gripped Lebanon in recent years, urging him to reconsider his decision. The successive failures of governments to manage the ongoing crises have led many Lebanese to look forward to the return of a leader with extensive experience and strong international relations to set the country back on the right path.

Hariri‘s receptions, contacts, and visits remain the focus of attention, especially the content of the speech he will deliver on the 19th anniversary of his father’s assassination, which could map out his movements in the coming period.

Hariri announced his retirement from political life on January 24, 2022, urging the Future Movement to take the same step and not run in the elections, citing his conviction that “there is no room for any positive opportunity for Lebanon amidst Iranian influence, international confusion, national division, sectarian borrowing, and state erosion.”

Hariri‘s retirement, which is a rare event in the Lebanese political scene, created a political vacuum within the Sunni sect after his exit, affecting the governing composition in Lebanon. Since his withdrawal in 2022, economic conditions have dramatically deteriorated, and none of the other political forces have succeeded in filling the void he left behind.

The economic crisis has exacerbated the political despair, with the collapse of the national currency, soaring poverty and unemployment rates, the collapse of the banking sector, worsening service crises, and the absence of international support. Despite the seriousness of this crisis, Lebanese political forces have shown no seriousness in addressing it and have not taken concrete steps to halt the economic collapse, which threatens Lebanon’s future, leaving the Lebanese in a fog of fear and despair.

Therefore, Hariri‘s return is considered a ray of hope for the Lebanese, as he is a central figure in the Lebanese political equation and the main supporter of the economy. He played a pivotal role in attracting investments to Lebanon during his previous terms in office.

Former Minister Talal Al-Marhabi said in a statement on the eve of the 19th anniversary of President Rafik Hariri‘s martyrdom, “On this painful and poignant occasion in Lebanon’s history, we stand once again before the crime of the era.” He added, “On this anniversary, we look forward to President Saad Hariri‘s state, relying on him to return to his homeland and participate in Lebanon’s revival.”

Meanwhile, the Association of North Lebanon Traders issued a statement on Monday, stating that the situation in Lebanon urgently requires the establishment of a confidence, competent, and legitimate rescue government capable of implementing the necessary reforms and dealing with the international community to obtain financial and humanitarian support to address the escalating crises.

The National News Agency reported that the association welcomed the return of President Saad Hariri to Lebanon, considering him a respected and trusted national figure who possesses the experience, vision, and capability to lead the country in this critical phase, reflecting the aspirations of the Lebanese people and enjoying Arab and international support.

Everyone was urged to cooperate with Hariri and facilitate his mission to stay in Lebanon and support him in forming a rescue government, without placing conditions or obstacles that would hinder this vital process, calling on political forces to shoulder their responsibilities and abandon feuds and narrow interests, and commit to dialogue for the sake of Lebanon.

It is expressing solidarity with Hariri in his efforts to save Lebanon from collapse, as well as declaring its readiness to participate in any comprehensive national plan aimed at restoring stability, growth, and development to Lebanon, emphasizing the importance of protecting the rights and interests of the productive and working sectors in the country.

Show More

Related Articles

Back to top button
Verified by MonsterInsights