Lebanese minister: ‘No question’ of resigning over Saudi disaster

Embattled Lebanese Information Minister George Kordahi says resignation ‘out of the question’ after he questioned the struggle in Yemen.

Beleaguered Lebanese Information Minister George Kordahi says that resigning was “out of the question” after his remarks on Yemen’s struggle sparked a diplomatic brouhaha between Beirut and Gulf states.

“My resignation is out of the question,” Kordahi instructed Lebanese tv channel Al-Jadeed on Sunday, with out elaborating.

In an interview recorded in August and aired final week, Kordahi stated Iran-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen have been “defending themselves … against an external aggression”, sparking indignant rebukes from Saudi Arabia and its allies and requires his resignation.

A Saudi Arabia-led army coalition that has included the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Bahrain intervened to prop up the Yemeni authorities in 2015, after Houthi rebels seized the capital Sanaa in 2014.

Saudi Arabia on Friday gave Lebanon’s ambassador 48 hours to go away the nation, recalled its envoy from Beirut and suspended all imports from Lebanon.

Bahrain and Kuwait rapidly adopted swimsuit with comparable measures and the UAE on Saturday recalled its diplomats from Beirut in “solidarity” with Riyadh.

‘Dominated by Hezbollah’

The Saudi international ministry stated the strikes have been made after the “insulting” remarks on the Yemen struggle, but additionally due to the affect of Lebanon’s Iran-backed Shia motion Hezbollah.

Kordahi, who was nominated by the Marada Movement, a Christian occasion allied to Hezbollah, was not a minister on the time of the remarks.

Both Hezbollah and the Marada have rejected requires his dismissal.

The diplomatic disaster is a brand new blow to Lebanon, a rustic in monetary and political turmoil the place a fragile authorities is struggling to safe worldwide assist, together with from rich Arab nations.

On Saturday, Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan instructed CNBC that Kordahi’s feedback “are a symptom of a reality – a reality that the political scene in Lebanon continues to be dominated by Hezbollah”.

“For us, it is broader than just the comments of one minister. It is more an indication of the state that Lebanon is in,” he stated.

Oil-rich Gulf states have lengthy channelled funds into Lebanon’s fragile financial system. Alarmed by the rising affect of their archrival Iran’s ally Hezbollah within the authorities, they’ve grow to be reluctant to ease its monetary disaster.