The Lebanese charge d’affairs in Kuwait has been given 48 hours to leave. The expulsion is the latest development in a diplomatic row involving Saudi Arabia, following a Lebanese minister’s comments on the war in Yemen.
The diplomatic crisis in the Gulf region further worsened on Saturday, when Kuwait evicted Lebanon’s senior diplomat and also recalled its ambassador from Beirut. Saudi Arabia granted a Lebanese diplomat two days notice to depart and placed a ban on imports from all countries. The Kingdom of Bahrain expelled him hours later.
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Beirut scrambles to mend ties with Saudi Arabia after Riyadh expels Lebanese envoy & bans imports
According to the Gulf Arab states’ foreign ministries, the moves come in protest over comments made by a Lebanese minister. The Information Minister George Kordahi made a scathing attack on the Saudi-led military intervention at Yemen in an online broadcast that is part of the Qatar-based Al Jazeera network.
In his interview that aired this week, but was recorded earlier this year before he took office, Kordahi pointed out that it was time to end the “Infutile” seven-year war in Yemen, in which “Homes, villages, funerals, and weddings were bombed” by the coalition. Houthis in Yemen, backed by Iran, are “defending themselves…against an external aggression,” he said.
Riyadh dubbed Kordahi’s statements “offensive” and “It is obvious that this bias was evident” toward the Houthis. The statements were rejected by Lebanon, who pointed out they had been recorded prior to Kordahi’s election.
Yemen, suffering one of the world’s worst humanitarian crises, has been immersed in violence since 2014. UN estimates that the conflict has caused more than 230,000 deaths and left many people without access to humanitarian assistance.
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