Al-Kazemi cuts off Diab’s visit to Iraq: a response to Saudi and Hariri pressures?


The blockade has many forms, and it may come in the form of canceling the visit of the head of the caretaker government, Hassan Diab, to Iraq, in implementation of foreign orders. The Information Office of the Presidency of the Council of Ministers announced the postponement of the visit, which was scheduled for April 17th, “by the brothers in Iraq. And the Protocol Directorate in the Presidency of the Iraqi government took over to inform the Protocol Department in the Presidency of the Council of Ministers in Lebanon today (yesterday) to request postponement of the date, for internal Iraqi reasons.
The Lebanese delegation, which was headed by Diab, which included ministers: agriculture, industry, health, tourism and energy, aimed to sign an initial agreement to obtain 500 thousand tons of oil in exchange for health and medical services, then more than two million tons. The signing of the agreements in initials precedes the ratification by the authorities of the two countries, and the formation of joint committees to follow up the final agreement in preparation for its approval. The delegation would have benefited from its visit to discuss opportunities for cooperation in other areas with the Iraqi side, and to expand the cooperation agreement. It is one of the alternative options, also the main ones, to expand Lebanon’s diplomatic and commercial network, solve part of the electricity crisis, and reduce the level of the dollar drain from the Banque du Liban. For weeks, and in reciprocal visits by Lebanese and Iraqi officials, he worked to mature the agreement, remove obstacles to its implementation, and put in place a framework … before it was eliminated by a knockout.
Diplomatic sources told Al-Akhbar that the Iraqi Prime Minister, Mustafa Al-Kazemi, had submitted to pressure from two parties to cancel Diab’s visit, namely Saudi Arabia and Prime Minister-designate Saad Hariri, and each of them for their own reasons met only on the goal of strangling the country to serve personal goals. On the Saudi side, apart from the overt positions that revolve around helping Lebanon and “hoping” to quickly form a government and “reform” the internal situation, the Kingdom does not want any change in the domestic scene. On the contrary, its interest is to keep all rescue ports closed, and it will strive to prevent any cooperation between it and the rest of the governments in which it has influence.

Saudi Arabia, which considers Lebanon a “hostile land” to it, and says that it does not differentiate between the state and the influence of Hezbollah, will not be neutral in this battle, no matter how different positions it announced, but rather it will be obstructed. As for Saad Hariri, who is also obstructing the initiatives to form the government, he does not want Diab to “pick” any positive point. In front of everyone he meets, Hariri is informed of the imminent explosion of the situation once and for all, suggesting that he will be the savior. He wants to enter the Saraya, deceiving people, that he possesses “the keys to solutions”, to appear as if he is the maker of the post-collapse phase. From here, it is in Hariri’s interest to block any trade agreement that has popular benefits that the resigned government undertakes. He asked Al-Kazemi not to receive Diab, as confirmed by diplomatic sources. Just as Riyadh pressured the Iraqi prime minister to freeze the signing of the agreement with Lebanon, and to receive his prime minister.


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