Lebanon minister quits in effort to ease Saudi spat
December 3, 2021
Lebanon's information minister has announced his resignation in a bid to ease a diplomatic crisis with Saudi Arabia. George Kordahi's comments that were critical of Saudi Arabia's war in Yemen sparked the crisis.
Lebanon's Information Minister George Kordahi told media that he intended to step down, weeks after televised comments he made that were critical of Saudi Arabia's war in Yemen.
"After some thinking, I decided the time is suitable to offer something that gets Lebanon out of the crisis," Kordahi said Friday. "I hope that this resignation opens the window, or a gap in this wall'' for better relations with the Gulf, he added.
Kordahi had said he remained unconvinced about resigning due to Saudi pressure, adding that "Lebanon does not deserve this treatment."
However, he said he had decided to step down "based on new developments" and because he refused to be "the reason for harming Lebanon and Lebanese in the Gulf and other places."
Kordahi said he had resigned before the French President Emmanuel Macron visited Riyadh, in the hope this would help ease the crisis.
Why is there a diplomatic crisis?
In his comments, Kordahi had said the war in Yemen was futile and that it amounted to an act of aggression by the Saudi-led coalition.
Saudi Arabia responded by recalling its ambassador and banning all Lebanese imports, which totaled some $240 million for 2020.
Houthi 'government': War won't stop until Saudis quit Yemen