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Saudi Arabia, Kuwait slam comments by Lebanese Information Minister

October 28, 2021 at 1:46 am

Lebanon’s Minister of Information George Kordahi speaks during a press conference at the presidential palace in Baabda, east of the capital Beirut, on September 13, 2021 [ANWAR AMRO/AFP via Getty Images]

Saudi Arabia and Kuwait summoned Lebanese envoys on Wednesday to their countries and handed them protest notes for remarks by Lebanese Information Minister, George Kordahi, regarding the crisis in Yemen, Anadolu News Agency reports.

The Saudi Foreign Ministry said it summoned the Lebanese ambassador because it was disappointed by the “insults contained in those statements directed at the Kingdom and countries that are part of the Arab Coalition.”

Kuwait summoned the Lebanese charge d’affaires and said Kordahi’s remarks “run counter to the Lebanese government’s official position.”

What started the diplomatic moves was when Kordahi said the Houthis in Yemen were defending themselves against Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates (UAE) attacks. Those remarks were published Monday. They came during a televised interview one month ago, before he was appointed to his post.

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He added that the war in Yemen is “absurd” and should stop.

Lebanese Prime Minister, Najib Mikati, said Kordahi’s remarks do not reflect his government’s position and affirmed brotherly ties between Lebanon, Saudi Arabia and the UAE.

Kordahi said Wednesday that his remarks were personal views that were made before he was appointed and stressed his government policy.

Yemen has been engulfed by violence and instability since 2014, when Iran-aligned Houthi rebels captured much of the country, including the capital, Sana’a.

A Saudi-led coalition aimed at reinstating the Yemeni government has worsened the situation and caused one of the world’s worst man-made humanitarian crises, with 233,000 people killed, nearly 80 percent, or about 30 million, needing humanitarian assistance and protection and more than 13 million in danger of starvation, according to UN estimates.

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