Saudi Arabia sees no purpose in involving Lebanon, says foreign minister

Saudi Arabia’s foreign minister said the kingdom does not plan to engage with the Lebanese government at this time in a deepening rift, and reiterated a call to the political class to end the “domination” of the Hezbollah movement. , allied with Iran.

Lebanon is facing its worst diplomatic crisis with the Gulf states, spurred by a minister’s critical comments on the Saudi-led intervention in Yemen that led Riyadh to expel Lebanon’s ambassador, withdraw its own envoy, and ban all imports from Lebanon.

“We do not see any useful purpose of engaging with the Lebanese government at this time,” Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan al-Saud told France 24 television in an interview broadcast on Saturday.

“We believe that the political class needs to step up and take the necessary actions to liberate Lebanon from the domination of Hezbollah, and through Hezbollah, Iran.”

Saudi Arabia was angered by an interview in which Lebanon’s newly appointed information minister, George Kordahi, appeared to side with the Iranian-aligned Yemeni Houthis and said that Yemen was being targeted by external aggression.

A NEWSPAPER headline reads, “Saudi Arabia Announces Boycott of Lebanon,” on a Beirut newsstand last month. (credit: AZIZ TAHER / REUTERS)

Kordahi said the interview was recorded before he became a minister and he refused to apologize or resign.

The Hezbollah leader last week described Riyadh’s reaction to Information Minister George Kordahi’s comments as “exaggerated” and accused Saudi Arabia of seeking a civil war in Lebanon.

Riyadh, long locked in a rivalry for regional influence with enemy Iran, has said its actions were prompted not just by Kordahi’s comments, made before the cabinet was formed, but rather by his objection to the growing weight. Hezbollah in Lebanese politics.

The Gulf states were traditional aid donors to Lebanon but, dismayed by Hezbollah’s expanding power, they have been reluctant to help rescue Lebanon from a devastating economic crisis, rooted in decades of corruption and mismanagement.



Reference-www.jpost.com

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