Hezbollah claims Saudi Arabia ‘waging war’ on Lebanon over Kordahi comments
Hezbollah claimed on Thursday that Saudi Arabia’s actions in response to Information Minister George Kordahi’s comments were tantamount to “waging war” on Lebanon.
“The Saudi reaction… amounts to waging war and [Kordahi’s comment] does not justify hasty measures against Lebanon and its people,” the Iran-backed Shia movement’s parliamentary bloc spokesman, Hassan Ezzeddine, said, as quoted by NBN TV.
Kordahi sparked a diplomatic crisis with Gulf countries because of his comments on Saudi Arabia and the UAE’s involvement in the Yemen war. He 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.
Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan told Al Arabiya on Sunday that the crisis was bigger than Kordahi’s statements, and that the main crisis is the growing Hezbollah influence in Lebanon’s politics.
Lebanon’s Prime Minister Najib 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.
Mikati urged Kordahi again on Thursday to prioritize the national interest of Lebanon: “I repeat my call to the Minister of Information to… adopt the stance that needs to be taken and give priority to the national interest.”