French president Emmanuel Macron brokered a phone call between Saudi crown prince Mohammed bin Salman and Lebanese prime minister Najib Mikati during his visit to Jeddah on 4 December. Lebanon’s ongoing economic collapse was exacerbated last month when Riyadh and its Gulf allies withdrew their ambassadors. The move came following remarks criticizing the Saudi-led war in Yemen in October by Lebanon’s information minister George Kordahi.

Mr Kordahi – a former TV presenter who owes his regional fame to Saudi-funded broadcasters – tendered his resignation a day before Mr Macron’s visit as part of Paris’ reconciliation effort. More importantly, Mr Macron’s initiative to re-spark Gulf nations’ interest in helping solve Lebanon’s economic crisis is now in motion. He told reporters that Riyadh had committed to re-engage financially in the near term. (CONTINUED - 308 WORDS)