Lebanon Foreign Policy

Lebanon Foreign Policy Part II


With the withdrawal of the Israelis, voices rose in Lebanon calling for the Syrian army to withdraw. Immediately after the withdrawal of the Israelis, the editor of the Lebanese daily an -Nahar Gebran Tueni published a public letter to Bashar al-Assad, in which he called on the Syrian president to withdraw the troops from Lebanon. This would only happen after the assassination of Rafiq Al Hariri, the former prime minister.

West orientation of Lebanon

In Lebanon, Iran and Syria are the main supporters of Hezbollah. Iran is the organization’s largest donor, as Hezbollah is one of Iran’s most important allies in the Arab world. The US, in turn, is Israel’s most important pillar. The US is also always a natural ally of the Lebanese state. The USA intervened several times militarily in Lebanon with the aim of strengthening the respective pro-Western Lebanese government against the internal opposition. The American President Dwight D. Eisenhower responded to an attempted coup in Lebanon in 1958 by sending US troops to occupy the international airport and port. The operation involved approximately 14,000 men. In 1983, another US attempt to strengthen pro-Western Lebanese forces ended disastrously for US forces. The suicide bomber detonated the charge with an explosive force of around 5,400 kg TNT and killed 241 US soldiers. 58 paratroopers died in a second attack on the French armed forces. In response to the attacks, the French launched an air strike on the Bekaa plain against positions of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard. On February 7, 1984, US President Reagan ordered the withdrawal of the US Marines from Lebanon. Although it is still not clear who was responsible for the attack, Hezbollah, Iran and Syria are accused by the US of being the perpetrators of the attack. Since the end of the civil war and in the context of the fight against international terrorism, the US has supported the reconstruction and the To be the author of the attack. Since the end of the civil war and in the context of the fight against international terrorism, the US has supported the reconstruction and To be the author of the attack. Since the end of the civil war and in the context of the fight against international terrorism, the US has supported the reconstruction and arming of the Lebanese Army. Lebanese officers are trained in the United States. Arms shipments reach the Lebanese army almost every month. These arms deliveries underscore the US’s attempt to maintain its traditionally close ties with Lebanon and to curb Iranian influence and strengthen pro-Western forces in Lebanon. Stabilization of Lebanon is also of particular importance with regard to the civil war in Syria, as Lebanon has taken in a very large proportion of the Syrian refugees.

Lebanon Foreign Policy

According to philosophynearby, Lebanon has historically close ties to the former mandate power France. This relationship has had its ups and downs since the end of the 18th century, but official Lebanese foreign policy regards France as the most important partner and advocate within the European Union. For its part, France has always cultivated its cultural and political relations, particularly with the Christians of Lebanon, and has tried to establish itself as a protective power accordingly. Lebanon also traditionally maintains friendly political and growing economic relations with Germany.

In June 2020, Lebanon and signed a new agreement to set up cultural centers. Cooperation has grown in importance for both the Chinese side and Lebanon. Especially since China has been participating in the UN peacekeeping mission in Lebanon since 2006.

Taif Accords – a new constitution

However, the end of the war did not come about until 1989, when the way to the Taif Agreement was paved both through international pressure and efforts by the Arab League. Under the Taif Accord, named after the Saudi Arabian place of negotiation, a political system with a slightly different basis was established in Lebanon, which continues to institutionalize the division of denominations in the government. The novelties of the agreement were the political weakening of the state president and the strengthening of the prime minister, the cabinet and the speaker of parliament. This implies a slight loss of power for the Maronites in favor of the Muslims, since political prerogatives were taken from the office of president. After the end of the fighting in Beirut and the re-launch of a “national consensus”, political goals were sought to rebuild the country and restore state authority and assertiveness. The peace agreement was enforced through the invasion of the Syrian army at the invitation of the weakened opponents. 30,000 soldiers from the neighboring state were stationed in Beirut and the surrounding area and in the northeast of the country. It disarmed all parties to the civil war. Only Hezbollah, which fought against the Israeli occupation, was allowed to keep its weapons.

In fact, Lebanon was completely occupied by its neighbors from 1989 to 2000. While Damascus dictated politics in Beirut, Israeli troops controlled parts of southern Lebanon. There they supported and financed the South Lebanese Army (SLA), which fought bitterly with the Hezbollah activists until its dissolution in 2000 with the withdrawal of the IDF.