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UPDATE - Lebanon's Kordahi resigns to resolve crisis with Gulf states

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

UPDATES WITH MINISTER'S RESIGNATION; CHANGES HEADLINE, LEDE; EDITS THROUGHOUT

By Wassim Seif El-Din

BEIRUT (AA) – Lebanese Information Minister George Kordahi on Friday submitted his resignation to the government following the crisis with Gulf states.

Kordahi announced his resignation in a news conference at the Information Ministry in the capital Beirut.

"I decided to give up my ministerial position because the interest of my country, my family and my loved ones is above my personal interest," he told reporters.

He stated: "By my words about Yemen, I did not mean to offend anyone, especially the Gulf states. Rather, it was a sincere call to stop the war for the benefit of the warring parties."

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

When asked in a televised interview whether 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, 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 stated 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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