ALBAWABA - Qatar may come to the rescue. This is the feeling one gets from the current visit of Lebanese President Michel Aoun Doha. Aoun met Monday with Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani, who affirmed Qatar’s support for Lebanon and said “Qatar is ready to help Lebanon in all fields,” it was reported by the Lebanese Neharnet from a statement by the Lebanese presidency.
President Aoun, in an interview with the Qatari newspaper, Al-Raya: The visit to Qatar is an expression of the depth of friendship and the strength of the relationship between the two countries.— Lebanese News and Updates (@LebUpdate) November 29, 2021
Aoun: I will call on Prince Tamim to direct investment in Lebanon. pic.twitter.com/B5XvA55NxX
Sheikh Tamim said that the Qatari foreign minister will soon visit Lebanon “to offer aid and support,” the Presidency added. Aoun is in Doha to attend the opening ceremony of the FIFA Arab Cup in which 16 teams will compete. The 19-day tournament is an opportunity for the world to witness Qatar’s new stadiums that will host the World Cup next year, according to the Lebanese website.
The two leaders agreed during the meeting that “the current stage requires the support of Arab countries for Lebanon” and that “overcoming any problem that might affect these relations is a necessity,” it was reported.
President Michel Aoun has traveled to Qatar for an official visit https://t.co/cwJgJZlGHZ— L'Orient Today (@lorienttoday) November 29, 2021
Meanwhile the Turkish Anadolu news website reported on the visit. Sheikh Tamim will dispatch his Foreign Minister Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani to Beirut to discuss ways of providing support to Beirut but did not specify a date for his visit to Lebanon.
But judging from the critical situation in Lebanon the visit can be predicted to be fairly soon. From the talks between the leaders in Doha, Aoun said he welcomed any Qatari investment in Lebanon.
The visit by the Lebanese president to Doha comes amid a diplomatic crisis between Lebanon and Qatar’s Gulf neighbors Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain over critical statements of Lebanese Information Minister George Kordahi of the Saudi-led military campaign in Yemen Anadolu reported.
The Lebanese newspaper, Al-Jumhuriya, said that President Michel Aoun intends to visit Qatar, coinciding with the escalating crisis with the Gulf countries due to the statements of Lebanon's Minister of Information, George Kordahi, regarding the Yemen war. pic.twitter.com/BrDScXqPQm— Hashemalyasin (@Hashemalyasin3) November 17, 2021
Since late 2019, Lebanon has been grappling with severe domestic challenges including a currency devaluation against the dollar, along with shortages of fuel and medicines.
The Lebanese pound recorded further decline this week as the exchange rate of one dollar reached 25,000 pounds in the parallel market, while its official price is 1,515 pounds.