MON 17 - 2 - 2020
Date: Feb 1, 2020
Source: The Daily Star
Hariri's political deal with President Aoun hurt his relationship with Saudi Arabia: aide
BEIRUT: Former Prime Minister Saad Hariri's political deal, which granted MIchel Aoun the presidency, hurt his relationship with Saudi Arabia, a member of the Future Movement said Saturday.

Mustafa Alloush, a member of the Future Movement politburo, told Voice of Lebanon (100.5FM) that

the dispute between Hariri and Saudi Arabia was a result of Riyadh's "dissatisfaction" with the deal with Aoun, "especially since it involved cooperation with Hezbollah."

Alloush added that Riyadh refuses to deal with a government "under Hezbollah's control."

The current Cabinet has been widely referred to as one-sided and dominated by the pro-Iran party.

Prime Minister Hassan Diab was named by Hezbollah and its allies, including the Free Patriotic Movement.

The FPM, founded by Aoun, is now headed by his son-in-law, Gebran Bassil, one of the most reviled political figures in Lebanon since the outbreak of the nationwide anti-government protests.

In 2016, Hariri shifted his political stance to support Aoun for the presidency. This paved the way for Hariri to return to the premiership after years of absence from the political scene.

Hariri’s move angered many in his camp, which had long been at odds with Aoun, who has accused the Hariri family of corruption since the early 90s.

Hariri's decision to support Aoun was made without the backing of Saudi Arabia, according to Alloush.

As part of the ongoing U.S.-Iran tensions and Riyadh's fierce rivalry with Tehran, Hezbollah has been a key focus of frustration for both Washington and the Gulf.

Alloush said now that Hariri is no longer "in power," this could potentially lead to a new dialogue between Hariri and Saudi Arabia.

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