All Lebanese parties now acknowledge Saudi Arabia’s role in the selection of Tammam Salam to head the next Lebanese government. Visits in recent days by the Wahhabi kingdom’s ambassador to Lebanon to several political parties and to the prime minister-designate are only the tip of the iceberg.
It remains unclear why exactly Saudi officials preferred the most moderate and atypical Sunni and March 14 figure to form the next government. The selection of Salam surprised the March 14 coalition as well as its political rivals. Hezbollah and its allies voted for him as a gesture of goodwill, but are uncertain about the next step. According to the Hezbollah camp, there are several explanations for the elevation of Salam.