UAE Withdraws Ambassador From Lebanon Over Minister's Yemen War Remark
14:36 GMT 30.10.2021 (Updated: 15:26 GMT 30.10.2021)
© AFP 2022 / AHMAD AL-BASHAA fighter loyal to Yemen's Saudi-backed government keeps watch over a valley during clashes with Huthi rebel fighters west of the suburbs of Yemen's third-city of Taez on March 8, 2021. - Yemen's six-year-old civil war pits the Iran-backed rebels against an internationally recognised government backed by a Saudi-led military coalition.
Relations between Lebanon and the Gulf countries have soured following comments by Lebanese Information Minister George Kordahi, who criticised Saudi Arabia's involvement in the Yemeni conflict.
The United Arab Emirates has withdrawn its ambassador from Lebanon for consultations and advised its citizens not to travel there, the Foreign Ministry said.
This comes after earlier in the day, Lebanon's Foreign Minister Abdallah Bou Habib said that Beirut was hoping to ease tensions with the Gulf countries and Saudi Arabia.
Tensions boiled over after Lebanese Information Minister George Kordahi criticised Saudi Arabia's involvement in the Yemeni conflict. Riyadh responded by recalling its ambassador to Lebanon for urgent talks and asked the Lebanese ambassador to leave the country within 48 hours. Bahrain and Kuwait followed suit and asked the Lebanese ambassadors to leave within 48 hours.
30 October 2021, 10:22 GMT
Earlier this week, Lebanese media published extracts from Kordahi's interview with Al-Jazeera, in which he described the actions of the Arab coalition in Yemen as "aggression" and called the war in Yemen pointless. He also said that Houthi rebels were forced to defend themselves. Later, Kordahi noted that he made the comments in August before he was appointed minister, and said that he didn't mean to offend Saudi Arabia and the UAE.
Lebanese Prime Minister Najib Mikati emphasised that Kordahi's words do not reflect Lebanon's official position on Yemen.