Billionaire brother of Lebanese prime minister says ‘at the end of the day we need to have peace.’
In a groundbreaking interview with an Israeli reporter, the brother of Lebanon’s Prime Minister Saad Hariri said his country should make peace with Israel.
Bahaa Hariri was interviewed in a video call by the Axios news website only a few weeks after Israel and Lebanon started the first direct negotiations in over 30 years under American sponsorship to determine their offshore borders, which pass through valuable undersea gas and oil fields.
Hariri praised the talks, calling the negotiations a positive step and said he hoped they were connected to the “changing dynamics” in the Middle East where the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain recently established diplomatic relations with Israel.
“This is a positive thing for Lebanon, but we have to make sure it doesn’t give Hezbollah any breathing space,” he said, knowing that the Iran-backed terror group would love to siphon off profits to help finance its quest for war against Israel.
Hariri told veteran reporter Barak Ravid that he thinks Lebanon and Israel should resolve their border disputes and make peace.
“We have issues between us and the Israelis and we have to resolve them, but at the end of the day we need to have peace,” Hariri said.
“I want my children to live in peace not war,” Hariri said, adding that he thought a “huge part” of Lebanon agreed with him.
Normally, Lebanese citizens could face arrest for talking with “enemy” Israelis, but Hariri lives outside of that country.
His interview came only two weeks after the daughter of LebanesePresident Michel Aoun said she had no objection to her country establishing peaceful relations with Israel.
Claudine Aoun Roukoz said Lebanon and Israel had to first address their border disputes. Pushed during a television interviewer as to whether she had any objection to signing a peace agreement with Israel, Aoun Roukoz replied: “Why should I have any objection?”
In August, President Aoun told the French network BFMTV that he didn’t rule out peace with Israel but said “we need to resolve our problems with Israel first.”
But given Lebanon’s complex and dangerous political map, Hariri and Aoun have an uphilll battle to achieve peace. Aoun’s Christian party is allied with the Iran-backed Hezbollah terror group that shares the Iranian goal of destroying Israel.