EU attempts to bribe Lebanon to normalize ties with Israel: Report
An EU official reportedly tried to coerce authorities with offers of much-needed food, medicine, and energy aid
By News Desk - May 27 2022

(Photo credit: Twitter)

During a recent visit to Lebanon, the EU Special Representative for the Peace Process in West Asia, Sven Koopmans, reportedly made an offer to Lebanese officials to normalize relations with Israel in exchange for much-needed aid in food, medicine, and energy.

According to a report by Lebanese daily Al-Akhbar, this offer, described as tantamount to blackmail, was made during Koopmans’ last visit to Beirut on 27 April, when he met with President Michel Aoun and Foreign Minister Abdallah Bou Habib.

The envoy reportedly held meetings with leaders from the Lebanese resistance movement Hezbollah as well.

Koopmans arrived in Beirut after a trip to Israel, where he met with Defense Minister Benny Gantz. His visit came just two weeks before crucial parliamentary elections.

Ahead of the 15 May ballots, most western-backed parties ran on a campaign of disarming Hezbollah, which is one of the strongest opponents to the Israeli occupation of Palestine.

Koopmans reportedly promoted normalization as a “final solution” for Lebanon, in order to receive western help and overcome the severe economic meltdown that has ravaged the country since 2019.

“You are not able to solve your crises and did not participate in peace negotiations before. We are now offering the doors open to the peace process, which will reflect prosperity on you,” the EU envoy told Lebanese officials, according to sources cited by Al-Akhbar.

The western envoy also asserted that “the peace process will solve the energy problem in Lebanon once and for all, and allow the Lebanese to produce electricity and properly invest in oil and gas resources.”

Koopmans’ offer included Lebanon joining a “regional consortium” that would re-activate the economy. He also emphasized that Lebanon “doesn’t have any practical solutions” to its crisis without the assistance of the EU and US.

In relation to Hezbollah, Koopmans offered to make security arrangements to preserve a “balanced share for the resistance in the new Lebanese state, with wide privileges for Shias.”

He also highlighted how the Lebanese and Palestinian resistance “succeeded in establishing their strength,” but said there is a need for these groups to follow a political path in order to achieve “economic stability and prosperity.”

The report goes on to say that the EU would turn the Gaza Strip in occupied Palestine into a “new Dubai,” and that the 27 countries in the union would support a “two-state solution with freedom to practice religious rites and the preservation of religious coexistence.”

Over the past three years, Lebanon has suffered from a severe economic and political crisis, described by the World Bank as the world’s worst in 150 years.

The multiple crises have seen over 80 percent of the population plunge below the poverty line, a currency loss of over 95 percent of its value, and fuel shortages that leave most of the country with no access to electricity.

In the face of all this, western nations have failed to provide any substantial aid to the Levantine nation, with a US-brokered energy-sharing plan delayed for months, with Washington refusing to give the nations involved the necessary sanctions waivers for the plan to move ahead.

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