Saudi foreign minister says crisis with Lebanon has its origins in Hezbollah dominance

Sat, 2021-10-30 20:14

DUBAI: Saudi Arabia’s foreign minister said on Saturday the latest crisis with Lebanon has its origins in a Lebanese political setup that reinforces the dominance of the Iran-backed Hezbollah armed group and continues to allow endemic instability.
Saudi Arabia and other Gulf countries expelled Lebanese envoys in a diplomatic spat that risks adding to Lebanon’s economic crisis, following critical comments about the Saudi-led military intervention in Yemen by Lebanon’s Information Minister George Kordahi.
“I think the issue is far broader than the current situation,” Prince Faisal bin Farhan told Reuters in a phone interview. “I think it’s important that the government in Lebanon or the Lebanese establishment forges a path forward that frees Lebanon from the current political construct, which reinforces the dominance of Hezbollah.”
He said this setup “is weakening state institutions within Lebanon, in a way that makes Lebanon continue to process in a direction against the interests of the people of Lebanon.”
The row has triggered calls by some Lebanese politicians for the resignation of Kordahi, while others opposed such a move, which could undermine the government as a whole.
“We have no opinion about the government in Lebanon. We have no opinion as to whether it stays or goes, this is up to the Lebanese people,” the minister, speaking from Rome where he was attending the G20 summit, said.
Kordahi has been publicly backed by Hezbollah and has declined to apologise or resign over the comments.

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