Nasif Hitti: Former Lebanese Foreign Minister Leaves Diab’s “Sinking Ship”




Education
 
Nasif Hitti was born on December 22, 1952 in Tripoli, Lebanon. In 1975, Nasif Hitti graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from the American University of Beirut (AUB). Upon graduation he would go on to do a masters programme in AUB, earning a Masters of Arts degree again in Political Science in 1977. He would then move to California in order to obtain a PhD in International Relations, which he earned in 1980.
 
Joining the Arab League
 
In 1981, he travelled to Tunisia to join the Arab League. In 1985, he would get his first major diplomatic position as he was posted in Ottawa at the Office of the League of Arab States to Canada. While he was in Canada, Dr Hitti published two books, the first one titled The Theory of International Relations was published in 1985 and two years later he published The Arab World and the Five Superpowers: A Futuristic Study. During his last year in Canada, the headquarters of the Arab League would once again return to Cairo, Egypt, after a brief eleven-year stint in Tunisia.
 
His Time in Cairo
 
In 1991, Dr Hitti travelled to the Arab League’s new/old home in Cairo, Egypt where he would the next eight years of his life. From 1991 to 1999 he served as a diplomatic advisor to the Secretary General of Arab League and from 1992 to 1999 he would become an International Relations and Middle Eastern Affairs
professor at the American University in Cairo.
 
His Time in Europe
 
Dr Hitti left Cairo in 2000 and from there he would begin a new chapter of life in Europe. From 2000 to 2013, Dr Hitti became the Arab League Ambassador to France and UNESCO and then from 2014 to 2015 he became the Arab League Ambassador to Italy and the Holy See. His European adventure would also involve some academic work, as he became a frequent lecturer at the Mediterranean Academy of Diplomatic Studies in Malta.
 
His Return to Lebanon
 
After almost 38 years of living and working abroad, Dr Hitti would finally return to his home country of Lebanon in 2016. It seemed that Dr Hitti had sought to retire from diplomatic work entirely as his work in Lebanon became exclusively academic. From 2016 to 2019 he was the Director of the Higher Institute of Political and Administrative Sciences at the School of Law and Political Sciences of the Holy Spirit University of Kaslik.
 
New Year, New Job and Eventual Resignation
 
On January 21, 2020, Dr Hitti was chosen to become the Foreign Minister of the new Diab government, which had come to power following months of mass protests, which forced long time leader Saad Hariri to resign.  Dr Hitti’s diplomatic work and expertise in International Relations made him more than qualified for the post. However, on August 3, less than seven months in to his new job, Dr Hitti resigned. He would go on to state that the reason for his resignation was due to lack of intention from the government to implement any meaningful reforms. Upon resigning, he gave a foreboding warning that Lebanon risks becoming a failed state:
 
“I took part in the government to work for one boss, Lebanon. I found multiple bosses and conflicting interests in my country, and if they don’t come together for the interest of the Lebanese people and save it, the boat, God forbid, will sink.”