Saudi Arabia summons Lebanon's ambassador to protest Kordahi comments on Yemen war
Saudi Arabia summoned Lebanon’s ambassador and handed him a letter of protests over comments made by Lebanese Information Minister George Kordahi about Saudi Arabia and the UAE’s involvement in the Yemen war, the foreign ministry said on Wednesday.
“The foreign ministry expresses its regret for the insults in those statements about the Kingdom and the countries of the Coalition to support legitimacy in Yemen. Those show a clear bias towards the terrorist Houthi militia that threatens the security and stability of the region,” the ministry said.
“We reiterate that those statements contradict the simplest political norms and are inconsistent with the historical ties between the two brotherly nations,” the statement added.
“In light of the repercussions those offensive statements may have on the relations between the two countries, the ministry of foreign affairs summoned the ambassador of Lebanon to Saudi Arabia and handed him an official protest letter in this regard.”
Kordahi had said that Yemen’s Iran-backed Houthis were defending themselves and described the war in Yemen as “futile”.
The minister said on Wednesday his remarks were his personal views, made before he was appointed a minister and that he was committed to government policy. “I am against Arab-Arab wars… accusing me of hostility towards Saudi Arabia is rejected.”
Lebanon’s Prime Minister Najib Mikati, trying to avert diplomatic fallout, said that Kordahi made those comments in an interview that was recorded more than a month before he became a member of cabinet and that his statements reflected his personal opinion and had nothing to do with government’s policy.
The Gulf Cooperation Council’s secretary general Nayef Falah Mubarak al-Hajraf slammed Kordahi’s statements saying they reflected little understanding and a superficial grasp of the events in Yemen.