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Editorial

No greater prize for Lebanon than unity





No greater prize for Lebanon than unity
Lebanon has a problem. For too long, it has had to operate with a caretaker government, not fully accepted by all sides in its ongoing internecine political wars among the sects.
But at least the President was able to offer some semblance of unity.
Now that is no longer the case. General Michel Aoun has departed the palace and now the urgency of the search for political unity has multiplied 10 times.
Lebanon could not afford a leadership vacuum at the top even at the best of times. These are not the best of times; far from it.
Domestically, we have the economy plunging further into chaos almost to the point where possibly the only economy worse than it is Ukraine, and Sri Lanka!
The blast that ripped Beirut Port apart two years ago would it seem, inflict more than physical damage. It ripped a hole in the heart of the Cedar Nation.
Politicians and other players accuse each other of corruption and incompetence and piously insist that only THEY can “save” Lebanon. The truth is: no-one can save Lebanon if they can’t all work together in a common purpose. And while Hezbollah’s influence is undeniable, its ties to Iran mean they cannot be completely trusted.
This is why great pains have been made to emphasise the importance of the Taif Agreement.
Lebanon’s caretaker prime minister Najib Mikati and the Saudi ambassador in Beirut Ambassador Walid bin Abdullah Bukhari underlined its importance at the UNESCO Palace in Beirut that brought together over 1,000 political, economic, diplomatic, and academic figures, including those who helped draft it such as veteran diplomat Lakhdar Brahimi, Walid Jumblatt, the head of the Progressive Socialist Party, MPs from the Free Patriotic Movement and presidential candidate Suleiman Franjieh.
External factors also dictate the need for a speedy resolution to Lebanon’s political impasse. The war in the Ukraine already further disrupted Lebanon’s beleaguered economy and living standards. The prospect of nuclear weapons being used should be extremely alarming to all concerned and the closer a country is to the target site for such weapons, the greater the threat.
Meanwhile, the US starts to turn in on itself preoccupied with domestic concerns and China continues to adopt an aggressive stance, emboldened perhaps by a distracted America and a surprisingly feeble Russian military. 
A saving grace has been the southern maritime boundary agreement signed with Israel which has added a little peace of mind and cause for hope. Not much but it’s a start. 
Editor in Chief



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