Between Bashar al-Assad and Iran, What does the Egyptian regime want from Lebanon?

Eldorar Alshamia Editor | 18 August, 2016
Sameh Shoukry - Egyptian Foreign Minister

ElDorar AlShamia:

Egyptian Foreign Minister, Sameh Shoukry’s visit to Beirut raised many questions about the limits of the Egyptian role in Lebanon and its usefulness, is Egypt looking for restoring its regional role again? Or is it trying to communicate with Iran?
Shoukry’s Visit which began last Monday, somehow looks like mysterious , in order to play any role in the Lebanese arena ,it needs to  have a real strong relationship with the various Lebanese parties, and also with the external parties those get an actual influence in Lebanon, the thing Egypt is missing, along with their inability to provide support for Lebanon, whether economically or politically.
The Egyptian foreign minister announced yesterday that he holds ideas and proposals to overcome the presidential vacuum in Lebanon crisis, but diplomatic steps in Beirut suggest that he did not carry any solutions to the two-years-ago crisis.

Formal Diplomacy

Sources seen Shoukry’s meetings  said, he did not bring with him any initiative or specific proposals to resolve the presidential crisis , he did not talk about any efforts or connections can be carried out by Egypt with any regional side, also high-level Lebanese sources said the same  commenting on the visit.

The sources added that Egyptian Foreign Minister came to look for the positions of the Lebanese parties and as listener, he did not speak about any efforts or connections can be carried out by Egypt with any regional party to elect a president for Lebanon.

Shoukry did not suggest any specific name for the presidency,  he put forward a set of traits  for this candidate, fit in with the regional situation, where Egypt wants a president for all the Lebanese, which confirms the weakness of the Egyptian diplomacy that does not know the nature or the crisis’ dimensions in Lebanon.

  Regional Conflict

At a time when the Turkish and Iranian influence is growing in the region, Egypt seems to have no real instruments, the Egyptian role decreased  in an unprecedented manner after the Army seized  power on July 3rd., 2013, led by General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, who was inaugurated as President of the Republic at a later date.

Observers believe that Egypt is trying to regain its regional role, but it was preceded by other forces in the region to occupy the space that were not to remain empty, the Egyptian role to fill the  Lebanese space also comes at a time when Egypt suffers from economic and political crisis can not be hidden, so that its ability to strengthen its role becomes limited too.

   The Syrian War

There is no doubt that the future of Lebanon represents  a great importance to Egypt, on one hand, the situation in Lebanon relates strongly to the volatile situation in Syria, so that Egypt can not play a vital role in the Syrian situation without building strong bridges with Lebanon.

Lebanese political sources consider that the stability of the situation in Lebanon itself represents an important means for the policy of Egypt, which has suffered from the collapse of the regional system, and the nature of the Egyptian relations with major regional powers, especially Iran and Turkey, necessitate the attempt to create a balance with the Iranian and Turkish roles, particularly in the Syrian file.

In the same context, observers confirmed that the Egyptian vision to the Syrian issue are compatible with Iran and Russia, which necessitate the survival of the regime of the President Bashar al-Assad , with the pretext of preserving the unity of the Syrian Arab territory and to keep the Syrian army away from collapse.

The Egyptian ambassador to Lebanon, Mohammad Badr al-Din Zayed, stressed that his country supports the Russian military intervention in Syria, denying targeting  factions of the Syrian resistance pretending that Russia  is fighting  the "Islamic State", group  stressing that his country believes that a political solution is the best to get rid of the crisis that burns the Middle East but Bashar al-Assad should remain as a president.


  Iranian Support

The Egyptian Foreign Minister sudden visit to Lebanon was interpreted by  Egyptian politicians as a communicating tool with the Iranian regime again and as a consolidation method of relations in order to get support, but this time through an direct gate in order to avoid the wrath of Saudi Arabia.

Egyptian lawmakers consider that the best gate to achieve this goal is the"Hezbollah’s" –the  military hand of the mullahs system in Iran, and who has intimate ties with the Egyptian regime, revealed after the death of the Egyptian writer Mohamed Hassanein Haykal.

A high-level delegation from the leadership of Hezbollah  visited Egypt after the death of "Haykal" who was known with  well-established relations   with the ruling regime in Egypt, and the regime of Iran with the aim of condolence, but reliable sources revealed that a meeting between Hezbollah’s delegation with the leaders of the Egyptian intelligence service, which its contents have not been realized  yet .


   Political Preaching

Egyptian media sources said: The Foreign Minister preferred to play the role of mentor to the Lebanese opponents , especially he did not actually hold real solutions to fill the presidential vacuum in Lebanon, especially that Egypt which is characterized by a mysterious policy did not give him the required dynamic role in Lebanon.

The sources  added: The role of the adviser that Cairo is trying to play in Lebanon, becomes too heavy; because it did not have all Lebanese rivals , the Minister Shukri is closer to the standards of “14th.March” bloc than the “8th.March” bloc ; through Saudi Arabia legacy that burdened Egyptian diplomacy.



Lebanese media sources commented on the Shukri’s  visit saying: The partial contradiction between the main Arab capitals about the Syrian file is not measured by the contradiction between them in the Arab-Israeli conflict, while Egypt is moving aggressively to develop relations with Israel, but rather it seeks to act as a mediator between Israel and other Arab countries , where Lebanon represents the most anti-Israel Arab state after Palestine.

The sources said that the vision of Egyptian and Lebanese regimes for Israel makes a big distance between the two positions of the two states, especially that "Shukri" had visited Israel  before he went to Lebanon, the visit aroused considerable controversy in Egypt.

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, said in an earlier speech that he wanted a warm peace with Israel, where Cairo follows the policy of normalization by sending an ambassador to Tel Aviv and to open the Israeli embassy in Cairo as well as to exchange official visits.

It is worth mentioning that "Shukri" conducted interviews with some Lebanese political parties in the bloc of “March 8th.”, which includes "Amal Movement, Marada, Hezbollah, the Free Patriotic Movement," Lebanese political parties other than the block of “March 14th.”, most notably the "Future Movement, the Lebanese Forces , al-Kataeb Party, "in addition to Lebanese Prime Minister Tammam Salam.
Lebanese affairs editor
the source:
#ElDorar AlShamia