Lebanon hopes to ease tensions with Arab states

Beirut is hoping to soon calm tensions with the Persian Gulf countries, Lebanon’s Foreign Minister Abdallah Bou Habib said on Saturday. Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Kuwait, have given Lebanon’s envoys 48 hours to leave their countries over comments by a Lebanese minister, slamming Saudi-led war on Yemen.

“Lebanon is hoping to soon resolve the crisis with the Gulf countries and reiterates its commitment to the responsibilities it has before the Arab world and Saudi Arabia, in particular,” the minister told reporters after an urgent government meeting.

A US representative was present at the meeting, as the United States could help resolve the situation, the minister noted.

Regarding a potential resignation of the government, Bou Habib added that ministers had to continue their work and could not leave the country without the government.

The tensions were ignited by the recently published excerpts from an interview of Lebanese Information Minister George Kordahi, who criticized Saudi Arabia’s involvement in the Yemeni conflict.

On Friday, a Saudi state-run broadcaster announced that Riyadh was recalling its ambassador to Lebanon for consultations and asked the Lebanese envoy to leave the country within 48 hours. Bahrain and Kuwait have also asked Lebanese ambassadors to leave within 48 hours. Riyadh is even considering severing diplomatic relations with Lebanon, according to a diplomatic source.

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