Official sources with knowledge of the matter reported on Wednesday that Lebanon tends to accept a French offer to reconstruct the destructive Port of Beirut after interest poured in from Qatar, Turkey, China, and other countries.
A top US official will come to Beirut on Thursday night and Lebanese officials have previously reported that the border demarcation with Israel will be a central point of discussion. However, it’s expected that the Under Secretary for Political Affairs David Hale will discuss the reconstruction of the broken port of Beirut, in what two official Lebanese sources informed Al Arabiya English. It’s noted that the Beirut port was destroyed on Aug. 4 after a huge explosion that shook the Lebanese capital and damaged buildings miles away.
After the explosion, the port of Tripoli, is currently acting as the main port of the country. There are smaller ports in south Lebanon. Otherwise, several countries offered their services to rebuild the Beirut port, including France, China, Turkey and Qatar.
The official sources in Lebanon reported that the French are ready to take on the reconstruction efforts. A Lebanese Presidency source said: We expect this to be discussed during Hale’s visit on Friday.
Indeed, Qatar and Turkey, fierce rivals of Arab and Gulf states, and the deterioration of the relationship of China with Washington are pushing Lebanon toward adopting a French proposal, potentially in cooperation with the United Arab Emirates.
The second source, who asked to remain anonymous due to the sensitivity of the matter, reported: As of now, the consensus in Lebanon and our best interest is to go with the French. If we go with the French, the US will not be instigated. And if we go with the Chinese, the US will continue its pressure campaign against Lebanon. With Turkey and Qatar, their ties to the Muslim Brotherhood and Arab rivalry will not help Lebanon at all. It also added: Lebanon’s best bet is to go with the French; no one will feel that we sided against them.