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Lebanon's Kordahi set to resign to resolve crisis with Gulf states

Lebanon's Kordahi set to resign to resolve crisis with Gulf states
Embattled information minister has been under pressure to resign following resurfacing of his statements critical to Saudi Arabia’s presence in Yemen

By Wassim Seif El-Din

BEIRUT (AA) - Lebanese Information Minister George Kordahi on Friday announced his intention to submit his resignation in the hope of resolving the crisis between his country and Saudi Arabia.

"I will announce my resignation at 1 p.m. this (Friday) afternoon, Beirut time (1100GMT),” Kordahi told the country's private MTV channel.

The minister said he hopes the resignation will “open a door to resolving the crisis between Lebanon and Saudi Arabia."

He noted that he made it clear “since the first day” that he will step down from his post if it helps resolve the ongoing crisis between Lebanon and Gulf states.

Relations between Gulf nations and Lebanon strained over statements made by Kordahi on the Yemeni conflict before he took his post in the new Lebanese government.

When asked in a televised interview if he "thinks that the Houthis, like Hezbollah, are defending their land as an armed organization," Kordahi responded: "Of course they are defending themselves. ... My personal opinion is that this war in Yemen needs to end. Houses, buildings, villages, and cities are being attacked by fighter jets."

Angered by Kordahi’s critical comments, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Kuwait, and Bahrain recalled their ambassadors from Lebanon.

On Nov. 12, Kordahi expressed readiness to resign if there are guarantees that the Gulf countries will change their position towards Lebanon.

At the time, he noted that there are different views regarding his resignation and went on to accuse some Lebanese officials, without naming them, of trying to take advantage of his case.

Yemen has been engulfed by violence and instability since 2014, when Iran-aligned Houthi rebels captured much of the country, including the capital Sanaa. A Saudi-led coalition aimed at reinstating the Yemeni government has worsened the situation and caused one of the world’s worst man-made humanitarian crises.

*Writing by Ibrahim Mukhtar in Ankara

source: News Feed
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