The history of Lebanese-Syrian relations and their nature is by no means a secret. The Lebanese government has always complained about the incessant involvement of the Syrian regime in internal disputes by some Lebanese politicians; many of whom have been long time subordinates to the regime.
Deputy Speaker of Parliament Elie el-Ferzli’s newly published book introduced a scandal of the highest caliber. El-Ferzli published in his new book his memoirs under the title “The Most Beautiful History Was Tomorrow”. He detailed in a chapter the details of appointing Gebran Bassil as Minister in the Hariri government. This came at a time when Saad el-Hariri had not been willing to appoint any failed parliamentary candidates as ministers. These events occurred around the time el-Ferzli was visiting Damascus to meet Restom Ghazali.
This information sparked a number of reactions including accusations directed towards the Free Patriotic Movement’s hypocrisy regarding the discrepancy between their dealing with the Syrian regime publicly and privately. Ferzli recounts how General Restom Ghazali and President Bashar al-Assad pleaded with King Abdullah to negotiate his appointment. Ferzli hinted at the role of the Saudi-Syrian relations in lifting the ban on Bassil, as it was a call between the Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad and the late Saudi King Abdullah that led to Bassil’s appointment.
Elie El-Ferzli recounted, on pages 656 and 657 of his book, the details from the government formation period following the 2009 elections, and how he contributed to the appointment of Bassil in the cabinet. Ferzli had managed to hand Bassil the Ministry of Energy despite Hariri’s previously placed VETO. Back then, Michel Aoun had insisted on the appointment of his son-in-law and had even threatened blocking the formation of the cabinet entirely for his sake.
Yesterday, El-Ferzli went back to absolve President Michel Aoun and his son in law Gebran Bassil from the accusations that they had played a role in Ferzli’s mediation attempts in 2009.
In a tweet, he invited people to go back to the chapters of that book and explained that the entire events occurred out of his own initiative and no one else’s; neither directly nor indirectly.
As a result, el-Ferzli acquitted Bassil from the accusations of coordinating with the Syrian regime to interfere in Lebanon’s sovereign political decisions.