Written by Nasser Kandil,
Many signs of optimism which followed the TV interview of the Prime Minister Saad Al-Hariri which suggested the Saudi intention to retreat from besieging the freedom of Al-Hariri and the permission of his return to Beirut have been dispersed, after the certainty that the plan of his detention has failed to achieve its goals. Despite many contradictory signs of what announced by Al-Hariri about his freedom the interview in itself was an expression of the Saudi intention to solve the problem, but what has happened after the interview has returned the contradictory impressions.
Two days passed after the interview, Al-Hariri said that he will return within two days, but he did not announce a specific date for the return but there was a tweet which is not necessarily that Al-Hariri has written or shared on his account, it said that after two or three days the return will be, which means an additional delay at a moment which it is supposed that nothing delays it, unless the decision of delay is beyond his control.
The visit of the Maronite Patriarch Beshara Al-Rai to Riyadh has got good TV and media coverage, from where the visit of Al-Hariri to the Patriarch was completely deprived, but it occurred in a secret mysterious way, neither the accompanying delegation of the Patriarch nor the journalists were able to observe the arrival of Al-Hariri and his exit or to take photos with him, but the Saudis have distributed a photo of the visit as what they have been doing for ten days with what they publish about the activities of Al-Hariri, under which they say that he is under his full freedom.
Al Mustqbal Bloc has returned in a new statement to the slogan” the priority is for the return of Al-Hariri” which it launched when it was at the peak of the concern about his fate, and which it abandoned in its second statement and replaced it with the Saudi pledge as a kind of reassurance in preparation for the freedom of Al-Hariri. So does the return to the slogan of the priority of the return along with the denial of the statements of the Deputy Okab Saqr that “the statements of the bloc express its position” represent the return of the concern about the fate of Al-Hariri?
This has been coincided with a change in the discourse of the Lebanese Forces Party and all those who called to deal with the resignation as a constitutional entitlement, and those who accused all the advocates of “the priority of the return of Al-Hariri” at their forefront the President of the Republic with ignoring the essence of the problem which they found in the confrontation with Iran and Hezbollah. After those have supported the call of the priority of the return of Al-Haririr for days, advocating the dealing of the President of the Republic with the crisis, they returned to the first call, by the way it is the position of Saudi Arabia which is not necessary if Al-Hariri will come back soon because he will then discuss what they called “the essences of the problem”.
The event which grants these doubts an extra exaggeration and increases the concern is what was circulated in the European sites as reports which seemed clear to be by Saudi planning, they link the fate of Al-Hariri with the Saudi detained Princes and businessmen, they talk about the rebellion of the princes and the businessmen against the request of the Crown Prince to contribute in financing his wars from their wealth, and their assignment of Al-Hariri to mediate with Iran to reach to a compromise that is related to topple the Prince Mohammed Bin Salman, and the revealing of the endeavor and those involved in the process of US intelligence tracking, eavesdropping, and following-up, which Jared Kouchner has put it under the command of Bin Salman on the eve of arresting the princes and summoning Al-Hariri. It is feared that the distribution of these reports would be a prelude to direct Saudi official public accusations against Al-Hariri and to end with procedures that make his detention official and public.
What does increase the concern is the harsh dealing of the Saudi Crown Prince with the desire of the French President Manuel Macron to meet Al-Hariri. If the decision to release Al-Hariri was imminent, Bin Salamn would not hesitate to allow such meeting, and there would not be a reason to make Al-Hariri increase the deadline of the two days to more “two or three days”.
Translated by Lina Shehadeh,