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Concerns in Lebanon about new UAE role in the country

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Concerns have risen in Lebanon on the backdrop of the Lebanese government’s closeness to the UAE regime and Abu Dhabi’s pledge to provide financial support.

The UAE regime is known for its subversive interventions in the Arab countries from several approaches, including financial support, which is directed to serve Abu Dhabi’s ambitions to gain influence.

The UAE’s move came as protests against Prime Minister Saad Hariri escalated and he announced promises of a $1 billion UAE deposit, as well as investments.

Hariri said from Abu Dhabi that the UAE will announce any initiative to support his country. In return, the UAE regime remained silent about the announcement, which appeared to be an attempt to blackmail the Lebanese government.

Immediately after Hariri’s arrival, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation announced that UAE nationals would be allowed to travel to Lebanon, which increased reservations in the following days.

In 2016, the UAE, along with Bahrain, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia, called on its nationals to leave Lebanon and not to travel to Lebanon after considering that Hezbollah controls the political decision in this country.

Hariri and his delegation returned from the UAE with a promise to deposit up to $1 billion in the Bank of Lebanon. According to sources accompanying Hariri during his two-day visit, the UAE authorities promised Hariri a financial deposit, as well as investment promises and a decision to lift the ban on travel of Emiratis to Lebanon.

While the channel “LBCI” said that the deposit will be at an interest rate of up to 13 percent and the guarantee of gold reserves. Sources close to Hariri denied that, stressing that talk about a deposit to help Lebanon, not a trade deal would be a loss for the Lebanese side in case the interest on the deposit High ratio.

This comes as the UAE economy is facing a severe crisis, most notably the decline in oil prices since 2014, a crisis that extended until the signing of the agreement to reduce production, which stopped the decline, but did not achieve the rise required to return to pre-crisis prices.

The emirate of Abu Dhabi announced late last month it had secured a $10 billion loan from international markets through a three-tier sovereign bond.

The first tranche, according to WAM, was $3 billion with a yield of 2.125% due in 2024, a second tranche of $ 3 billion with a yield of 2.500% due in 2029 and a third tranche of $4 billion with a yield of 3.125% due in 2015. 2049.

So digitally, it is difficult for Abu Dhabi to make a deposit as the non-oil economy continues to decline, with the emirate’s economy falling 8.5 percent in the first seven months of this year compared to the same period last year.

But Abu Dhabi seems to be counting more on politics than the economy in recent years.

Lebanese observers said that the UAE is moving according to a politically covered investment strategy, on the basis of which the UAE leadership acts on the Lebanese issue, in a way that undermines the theory of “spontaneity”.

They highlighted that all that has been disclosed in the UAE is the result of an integrated investment plan that will emerge in succession, and is the result of a clear decision taken by the UAE leadership regarding its dealings with Lebanon.

They point to three sectors where Emiratis are interested: oil and gas, renewable energy, and food security through the use of European experiences in this regard, as happened in Morocco or Sudan, where European countries have invested vast agricultural areas. For example, the Lebanese prime minister pays special attention to agricultural affairs, where he sponsored a workshop of the Ministry of Agriculture on agricultural transformation in Lebanon.

The UAE’s turn towards Lebanon is not absurd, nor is it running on moving sands. It reflects a new strategy in dealing with Lebanon from a new reading of developments and sticking to the American agenda.