The UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced on Monday the return of all Emirati diplomats, embassy administrative staff and citizens from Lebanon.
“The Ministry attributed the development to the UAE's decision to recall its diplomats and administration staff from Lebanon and bar Emirati citizens to travel to the country owing to the current security and political situation there,” state news agency WAM reported.
Lebanon is currently mired in a diplomatic crisis with Gulf countries over comments made by Lebanese Information Minister George Kordahi about Saudi Arabia and the UAE’s involvement in the Yemen war.
Kordahi said the Iran-backed Houthis were “defending themselves… against foreign aggression [by the Arab Coalition]” during an interview aired on August 5.
Saudi Arabia expelled Lebanon’s envoy from the country and banned all Lebanese imports. Bahrain and Kuwait followed suit, and the UAE withdrew its diplomats from Beirut and banned its citizens from traveling to Lebanon.
Mikati has tried to contain diplomatic fallout early on by rejecting Kordahi’s comments and stressing that they had nothing to do with the government’s policy.
Kordahi said on Sunday resigning was “out of the question”, insisting that his comments were his personal views made before he became a cabinet member.