#SaudiCables: Right-wing Lebanese Christian leader asked Saudis for money

#SaudiCables: Right-wing Lebanese Christian leader asked Saudis for money
Samir Geagea of the right-wing Lebanese Forces party, asked Saudi Arabia for money in exchange for a proxy role, according to leaked letters released by transparency website, WikiLeaks.
2 min read
22 June, 2015
Geagea sought money from Saudi Arabia in 2012 amid bankruptcy concerns (Al-Araby Al-Jadeed)
According to one of more than 60,000 classified Saudi documents released by WikiLeaks , Lebanese Forces leader, Samir Geagea, pleaded for financial support from Saudi Arabia when his party was on the verge of bankruptcy in 2012.

The document is a letter sent from Saudi Ambassador to Lebanon, Ali Awad Asiri, to the kingdom's then-foreign minister Prince Saud al-Faisal in March, 2012.

“I have been visited by Elie Abu Assi, sent by Lebanese Forces chief Samir Geagea, and he talked about the difficult financial situation their party is going through, which has reached the point where they can no longer afford the cost of party chief Samir Geagea’s protection,” the letter said.

“They have reached a point where Mr. Samir Geagea is ready to travel to the kingdom to present their deteriorated financial situation to the kingdom’s leadership.”

The letter, classified as "highly confidential", justifies Geagea's need for tight security by highlighting his fierce opposition to the Syrian regime and its Christian allies in Lebanon, namely Free Patriotic Movement chief Michel Aoun and Maronite Patriarch Beshara al-Rai.

To persuade Prince al-Faisal, the letter emphasises Geagea's pivotal role in "pushing back Hezballah and its allies in Lebanon". "Above all, he [Geagea] expressed readiness to do what the kingdom asks him to do", the letter goes on.

In a second document released by WikiLeaks on the same matter, Prince al-Faisal forwarded the letter to then-Saudi King Abdullah with the recommendation of supporting Geagea financially since he pledged to “work under the kingdom’s instructions.”

Riyadh has not rejected the authenticity of any of the documents, but warned media and citizens from publishing any of them since they could "be untrue" and aimed to "harm the nation."