The Cradle
Former Saudi ambassador to Lebanon: KSA funded $72 billion since 1972
The former ambassador disclosed the figure in a recent interview with Al-Hurra
By News Desk - November 17 2021
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Former Saudi ambassador to Lebanon Assiri

In an interview with US government-owned Al-Hurra, the former Saudi ambassador to Lebanon disclosed that his country has given the Lebanese government a total of $72 billion since 1972.

The former Saudi ambassador Ali Awad Assiri briefly spoke in a short 15 November segment on Lebanese-Saudi relations in light of the latest measures by the kingdom to blockade Beirut.

He described the agreement that forged the alliance between the Free Patriotic Movement and Hezbollah – known as the 2006 Mar Mikhael agreement – as a ‘negative’ event, claiming that Hezbollah controlled the Lebanese government.

The Saudi official also said that the Lebanese were ‘at home’ in Saudi Arabia, adding that 33,000 Lebanese citizens from all different sects worked there as expat laborers.

He reiterated allegations of drugs passing through the Saudi border from Lebanon in defense of Saudi policies towards the latter in recent months and years.

Given that Lebanon’s infrastructure has been increasingly dysfunctional since the 1970s, many Lebanese believe that most of this money was likely spent in either backing the kingdom’s proxy groups and parties in the country or in real estate in the rentier-oriented economy.