Voices from the Arab press: an Iranian proxy in the Gulf region

An Iranian proxy in the Gulf region

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Al-Masry Al-Youm, Egypt, October 30

It is clear that Lebanese Information Minister George Kordahi did not distinguish between his role as a television personality and his role as a senior government minister during the controversial interview he gave to an Al Jazeera affiliate channel. In his interview, Kordahi claimed that the Houthis are simply “defending themselves against external aggression” and that the Yemen war is “useless”. If I had made these comments as a media personality, no one would have really cared. It would have been seen as his personal opinion on the matter, and nothing more. But because Kordahi is the information minister in a government that has been carefully trained in Beirut, his comments immediately circulated on social media and led to a serious crisis between Lebanon and the Gulf states. In response to the interview, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait and Bahrain summoned their ambassadors from Lebanon, while the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council condemned Kordahi’s comments. Of course, if this is your opinion, you have every right to believe it. But he has no right to advertise it openly and paint it as an official position of a political party or, worse still, of the Lebanese government. Not even a few hours after the video was posted, Nayef Falah Al-Hajraf, the GCC general secretary, issued a statement rejecting Kordahi’s comments. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia soon followed suit and called its Beirut ambassador. The Houthis are nothing more than an Iranian representative charged with carrying out Tehran’s agenda in the Gulf. Kordahi understands this reality very well and knows that the survival of his own government also depends on Tehran. Meanwhile, the fact is that the Iranian political project in the Middle East is a threat not only to the Gulf, but to the entire Arab world.

– Suleiman Gouda

The Football Association gives priority to our clubs

Nida al-Watan, Lebanon, October 26

The Executive Committee of the Lebanese Football Association recently announced the distribution of a new financial assistance package to its clubs operating at various levels for the second year in a row. It was truly remarkable to discover that the value of the aid distributed was about $ 800,000, which is a considerable amount. This money is undoubtedly being spent amid a financial and economic crisis in Lebanon, which has lasted for almost two years. It will undoubtedly provide much-needed support to soccer clubs across the country, allowing people across the country to maintain a degree of normalcy in their lives. Perhaps the most important thing to note is that the approved aid for the current season comes from the Lebanese Football Association. While funding for last year’s aid package came from a $ 1 million grant provided to the association by FIFA, funding for this year’s package came from internal funds. This is a great achievement considering the fact that the association’s largest source of income, ticket sales, almost came to a standstill. However, the association wishes to ensure that football activity in Lebanon continues, despite the difficult financial, political and public health circumstances we find ourselves in today.

– George Al-Hani

Translated by Asaf Zilberfarb


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