Lebanese Information Minister George Kordahi submitted his resignation from the government on Friday; weeks after his statements sparked a new crisis between Lebanon and several Gulf countries.
Kordahi had said Thursday that he was determined to submit his resignation, hoping that it would “help resolve the crisis” between Lebanon and the Gulf states after his statements that provoked a diplomatic crisis, noting that his decision “came in consultation with allies.”
The news of Kordahi’s intention to resign came after a meeting he had with Prime Minister Najib Mikati, on Wednesday, according to Lebanese media.
Kordahi had contacted Lebanese President Michel Aoun before he decided to resign, while media outlets indicated that the “Marada” movement, headed by Suleiman Franjieh, had begun searching for who would replace Qardahi.
The Lebanese Minister of Information ignited a crisis with the Gulf states last October after he said during a television program that the Houthis in Yemen were “defending their land” and were in a position of “self-defence”, asking: “Are they attacking anyone?” Considering that the war is “futile and must stop” because there is “aggression,” he said.
As a result, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Kuwait demanded the heads of their Lebanese diplomatic missions to leave, while they summoned their ambassadors from Beirut. The UAE also recalled its diplomats from the Lebanese capital.
Kordahi statements rejected by Lebanese officials
Kordahi’s statements provoked a wave of Lebanese rejectionist reactions, as Mikati confirmed that Kordahi’s statements are “rejected and do not express the government’s position at all, especially concerning the Yemeni issue and Lebanon’s relations with its Arab brothers, specifically the brothers in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and other GCC countries.
The Lebanese president affirmed that “his country is keen to establish the best and most pleasant relations with Saudi Arabia and the Gulf states, and it did not leave an occasion without expressing this concern.”
For years, the Lebanese-Saudi relations have been witnessing a cooling against the backdrop of the increasing influence of “Hezbollah”, which Riyadh classifies as a terrorist organization.