In an article published on Friday (November 5), Al-Akhbar Lebanese newspaper revealed a leaked document on a paper conducted by Saudi Royal Diwan’s “Decision Support Center”, which is tasked with “supporting decision-making and public policies” in the Kingdom.
The paper tackled how the Kingdom failed to deal with two major issues: abduction of Saad Hariri and the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Kashoggi in 2018.
According to Al-Akhbar’s Hussein Ibrahim, the paper criticized the performance of the Kingdom on both political and media levels.
In the case of Saad Hariri abduction, the paper by the “Decision Support Center” attributed the Kingdom’s failure to “gaps in the Saudi Government’s communication with the internal institutions as well as the international sides.”
Even more, the paper blamed Saad Hariri for “being vague in his stances” towards those who didn’t believe that his resignation was a decision by himself, Al-Akhbar added.
“Hezbollah considerably managed to turn the case into a national one, while Hariri failed to turn the tables on Hezbollah,” the paper said as cited by the Lebanese daily.
Meanwhile, the paper acknowledged that the Kingdom’s foes had the upper hand on the level of information warfare, as it named media outlets belonging to Iran and Hezbollah.
The “Decision Support Center” also pointed to the weak coverage of the issue (Hariri abduction) by Saudi media outlets, adding that Riyadh was not well-prepared to politically deal with case, Al-Akhbar reported.
According to the paper, Riyadh’s handling of Hariri abduction issue left negative impact on the foreign media’s coverage. Among Hezbollah-affiliated media outlets which the paper said have negatively impacted the foreign media coverage, was Al-Manar.
The paper also named three journalists of Al-Manar: Marwa Haidar (an editor at Al-Manar English Website), Yusuf Fernandez and Zahraa Tawbe (editors at Al-Manar Spanish Website).
In a surprising move, Saad Hariri announced resignation from Riyadh on November 3, 2017, claiming he was doing so over assassination threats. It was revealed then, that Hariri was abducted by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman, who forced him to resign in a bid to turn the tables on Hezbollah.