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Lebanon: Hezbollah rejects Arab League proposals for Gulf crisis

A portrait of Lebanese Information Minister George Kordahi is seen on a billboard at al-Tahrir street on 31 October 2021. [Mohammed Hamoud/Getty Images]
A portrait of Lebanese Information Minister George Kordahi is seen on a billboard at al-Tahrir street on 31 October 2021. [Mohammed Hamoud/Getty Images]

Lebanon's Hezbollah rejected a proposal on Monday put forward by the Assistant Secretary-General of the Arab League to help end the crisis in relations with the Gulf States sparked by comments made by Information Minister George Kordahi.

The League's Hossam Zaki suggested that ministers close to the party and the Amal movement could return to government meetings and, according to Al-Mayadeen TV channel, vote against the dismissal of Kordahi.

However, Hezbollah and Amal rejected the proposal because it linked their boycott of government meetings to the investigation into the Beirut blast. The Shia groups have been calling for the ouster of Judge Tariq Bitar, who is heading the probe into the devastating explosion, but they deny claims that their boycott of government sessions is linked to their objection to the inquiry.

Furthermore, Al-Mayadeen quoted unnamed Lebanese government sources as saying that Saudi Arabia has already hinted that it will start to deport Lebanese citizens from the Kingdom if Zaki's mission fails.

Lebanese President Michel Aoun welcomed any initiative by the Arab League to restore relations with Saudi Arabia.

Footage from August – before Kordahi was appointed minister – aired in October showed the information minister describing the war against Yemen as one of aggression by the Saudi-led coalition, branding the conflict as "futile" and saying that the Houthis were acting in "self-defence".

Saudi Arabia and its Gulf allies have since recalled their ambassadors from Lebanon and expelled Beirut's envoys from the Gulf.

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Arab LeagueInternational OrganisationsLebanonMiddle EastNewsSaudi Arabia
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