Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan said on Saturday that the current crisis with Lebanon has its origins in the “Lebanese political formation that strengthens the hegemony of the armed group Hezbollah, backed by Iran, and causes continued instability.”
After the statements of the Lebanese Minister of Information, George Kordahi regarding the war in Yemen, Saudi Arabia announced, on Friday, to recall its ambassador to Lebanon for consultations.
Saudi Arabia asked the Lebanese ambassador to the Kingdom to leave within 48 hours, and also decided to stop all Lebanese imports to Saudi Arabia.
Prince Faisal bin Farhan told Reuters, “I think the issue is much broader than the current situation. It is important that the government in Lebanon, or the Lebanese institution, formulate a path forward, liberating Lebanon from the current political structure that reinforces Hezbollah’s hegemony.”
He added that this system “weakens state institutions inside Lebanon, which makes Lebanon, continue to follow a path that contradicts the interests of the Lebanese people.”
The Saudi foreign minister continued, “We have no say in the government in Lebanon. We have no opinion on whether it will stay or go; it is up to the Lebanese people.”
Prince Faisal bin Farhan refused to describe relations with the US as “strained” against the backdrop of the situation in Yemen and said: “I disagree with this characterization, I think that when it comes to Yemen, we both support a comprehensive ceasefire, and we both Supports a political process for conflict resolution.
Prince Faisal bin Farhan added, “I think it is clear that the kingdom is committed to the ceasefire, and it is up to the Houthis to decide to sign that, and we will not link any discussions about our defense capabilities to the ceasefire.”
On Wednesday, Reuters said in a report that Saudi Arabia is seeking to strengthen its defense systems with US support, and indicated that it is “under intense pressure from the US to lift the blockade of Yemen’s ports.”
The Arab coalition in Yemen considers the “port blockade” necessary, to prevent the smuggling of weapons to the Houthis, and the use of port revenues to fund their war operations.