US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Saturday called on the “various friends and supporters of Lebanon” to bolster the country and said he believes Prime Minister Najib Mikati has a “good plan” for moving Lebanon forward.
Here is what we know:
• “I think the prime minister [of Lebanon] has a good plan for moving Lebanon forward, trying to move the economy forward, in the first instance pursuing work with the international financial institutions,” Blinken said at a press conference following a meeting in Washington with his Qatari counterpart.
• Blinken added that “I think it would be very important for the various friends and supporters of Lebanon to demonstrate that support, to bolster Lebanon in a time of need,” according to a press release issued by the US State Department.
• His comments come amid the diplomatic crisis between Lebanon and Saudi Arabia. On Oct. 29, Riyadh said it was recalling its ambassador from Beirut and banning all imports from Lebanon. Kuwait, Bahrain and the UAE all recalled their envoys in the following days, after Lebanon’s information minister’s comments on the war in Yemen.
• Mikati’s cabinet was already mired in a political crisis when the diplomatic spat erupted. His government has not met since Oct. 12 due to political divisions among its ministers over the investigation into the 2020 Beirut port explosion.