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Davutoglu in Beirut.. How do the Lebanese see the Turkish role in their country?

Amman Today

publish date 2021-11-18 13:04:22

The Compass – In the midst of the crises that Lebanon is going through at all levels, which have reached the stage of an unprecedented Gulf estrangement, the visit of Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu to Beirut today, Tuesday, gives a dose of hope to the Lebanese that a positive transformation is looming on the horizon.

During the press conference that brought together the foreign ministers of Turkey and Lebanon, to announce what was discussed during the visit, Çavuşoğlu affirmed “Turkey’s determination to help Lebanon to rescue it from the most difficult economic crisis it has ever experienced since its establishment.”

The talk was about projects in Lebanon and commercial, tourist, industrial, cultural and scientific cooperation, and everything that could have a positive impact on all aspects of life in Lebanon.

Here, several questions are raised: is the time appropriate for a greater Turkish role in Lebanon? Were the previous obstacles to expanding and increasing Turkish-Lebanese relations removed? How do the Lebanese view Çavuşoğlu’s visit to Beirut?

The Lebanese researcher, Duha Al-Masry, said in a statement to “Turkey News Agency” that “there are great potentials for developing Lebanese-Turkish relations due to the importance of the Turkish role regionally and internationally, and the existence of a broad Lebanese public opinion in favor of developing relations and benefiting from Turkish capabilities and capabilities to support Lebanon and develop its capabilities, especially in The field of energy, tourism, the economy, and support for social, educational and security institutions.”

Al-Masry pointed out that “the historical relations between Lebanon and Turkey are still present in many Lebanese cities… Although there are a few Lebanese groups that may object to this, the majority of the Lebanese people welcome it.”

She stressed “the necessity of working to develop the Lebanese view of Turkey’s role in Lebanon historically, because there are those who focus on some negative stages, and do not focus on the positive stages in these relations.”

Al-Masry pointed out that “this requires media, cultural and educational work to change the stereotyped image of Turkey in Lebanon.”

For his part, the Lebanese researcher and media person, Qassem Kassir, told “Turkey News Agency” that “Cavusoglu’s visit is very important and came at an important time in light of the economic, social and political crises Lebanon is suffering and because of the crisis with some Gulf countries.”

He revealed that “there are many expectations of an increase in Turkey’s role in Lebanon, and an increase in Turkish support for Lebanon, its people and its institutions.”

“The Lebanese hope that Turkey will contribute by working with some Arab and Islamic countries in order to address various crises and find solutions to these crises,” Kassir added.

Kassir spoke about “an active and influential role for Turkey in Lebanon,” stressing that “there are large sectors of the Lebanese people who look positively at the Turkish role in supporting Lebanon.”

He concluded, noting that “the economic, educational and tourism relations between Lebanon and Turkey are strong.”

In turn, the researcher in international relations, Qassem bin Muhammad, asked, “What does Turkey have in store for Lebanon, and will Turkey, with Qatar, do what Saudi Arabia and the UAE have prevented?”

Speaking to “Turkey News Agency”, bin Mohammed said, “Perhaps the visit of the Turkish Foreign Minister to Beirut will carry a lot, and it differs from the previous one that took place after the explosion of Beirut Port on August 4, 2020.”

He added that “the Turkish-French conflict in the Mediterranean is now in Lebanon, in a Turkish attempt to send a veiled message to France, as well as Turkey’s endeavor to fill the void created by the Lebanese-Gulf crisis.”

According to Bin Muhammad, “the Turks themselves know that filling this void is not an easy thing, but they are counting on the Qataris for this and on the results of Çavuşoğlu’s visit to Tehran, which he left for Lebanon directly.”

He believed that “in light of the current pressing economic situation in Lebanon, Turkey can play an important role if it decides to enter the Lebanese arena as a matter of development.”

He expressed his belief that “this is the most important and most effective door now, but Turkey should expand its scope of work outside the Sunni community and Tripoli in particular, as its presence will not gain the attention of others unless these programs and projects are moved to other regions in order to embody the idea that Turkey is at the same distance from everybody”.

Bin Mohammed concluded that “Turkish-Lebanese relations and their development today are more urgent than ever, and they are in their golden moment due to what is happening regionally and internationally and Lebanon’s need for friends, and if the political relationship is somewhat restricted until this moment, the only entrance for Turkey to enter The internal Lebanese scene is distinguished through balanced development projects between the various Lebanese regions.

On the possibility of Turkey’s success today, especially in light of the pressing diplomatic blockade on Lebanon, bin Mohammed said, “Turkey’s success in Lebanon depends on the conditions of regional settlement. The greater the regional complications, the greater the chances of success. Perhaps the most important step that Turkey can take today is opening Its doors are open to the young Lebanese energies, which may happen, especially since the first meeting of the Turkish Foreign Minister was with the Lebanese Minister of Economy, and this means that Turkey knows perfectly that entry through the economy, support and assistance is its key to Lebanon today.”

As for the professor of international relations, the Lebanese journalist, Raed Al-Masri, he confirmed that “the Turkish presence in Lebanon is old and related to historical ties and families in the regions of northern Lebanon and Beirut.”

Al-Masry added in an interview with “Turkey News Agency” that “at the level of international relations, it is natural for Turkey’s role to emerge publicly today, especially during the visit of the Turkish Foreign Minister to Beirut, because we know that Lebanon’s Arab brothers, with the exception of the few, have abandoned it due to the policies of Hezbollah, which is taking the country towards regional hubs.”

He continued, “We are facing a Turkish role that can develop positively at this level, first in terms of balance with the Egyptian role, which is still considered minor because it identifies with the Saudi role that refuses to stand by Lebanon because of its policies and the role of Hezbollah in the wars in Yemen, Syria, Iraq and others.” .

And he added, “Of course, if the Egyptian role is completed, there will be a clear and ready Turkish presence based on historical relations, and the Turkish soft power in Lebanon did not negatively affect the Lebanese people. On the contrary, the Lebanese people benefited from many advantages, tourism, educational, and educational and even political.”

He added, “Therefore, cooperation should be within a wide range, especially Turkey, because it has a comfortable role in Lebanon and is not passive or uses hard force, and this is something that exists and we witnessed decades ago in Lebanon through the successive visits of Turkish officials and President Erdogan when he was prime minister.”

Al-Masry pointed out that “there is relief, even at the Arab level, from this Turkish intervention or presence at the level of the Lebanese arena, presumably because there is an Arab void, so the Turkish role must advance to fill this void.”

He said, “It is a good thing at this stage, as it is a critical stage because the Lebanese people are tired and collapses are taking place, and therefore, it may support the people and the state in some economic, financial, educational and other issues, and this is an important matter, which the Lebanese people want, as they do not mind the Turkish presence, even if it is balanced with The Egyptian or Arab role.

He said that “the Turkish presence in Lebanon can be built on, especially through the recent visits of the Turkish Foreign Minister to Beirut, which are quiet and successful visits and involve a lot of handling of files, and this is a required and vital matter, and Ankara is known for how it deals with sensitive files, especially the Lebanese file.” Which has become a sensitive file at the regional level, and all the region’s issues are related to Lebanon and Lebanon’s regional policies.”

He considered that “therefore, there is a kind of cautious approach from Turkey in standing by Lebanon to get it out of this crisis, which is shortened by the structural crisis in the financial structure and the ongoing collapse.”

Al-Masry expressed his belief that it is a “successful visit, and it will establish a promising future for a Turkish role in Lebanon, which is a required and vital matter and there is no Arab or Lebanese embarrassment for him.”

Turkey News Agency

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