Kuwait joined Saudi Arabia, UAE and Bahrain and expelled Lebanese envoys over criticism of Riyadh, the state-run news agency KUNA say.
Kuwait foreign ministry on Saturday recalled its ambassador to Lebanon, and asked the Lebanese envoy to leave the country within 48 hours.
“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs decided to expel the chargé d’affaires of the Lebanese embassy within 48 hours from the country and to recall its ambassador to Lebanon,” the statement reads.
The Gulf nations’ united efforts made Lebanon’s position much weaker. While the Kuwaiti MFA statement did not mention the reason behind the decision, the move comes following a similar decision by Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Bahrain over comments critical of the Saudi military role in Yemen by Lebanon’s Information Minister George Kordahi.
Asked if he “thinks that the Houthis, like Hezbollah, are defending their land as an armed organization,” Kordahi responded in his recent interview: “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.”
Lebanon faced the hardest-ever crisis
Lebanon is already facing deteriorating economic conditions and an acute shortage of energy.
In an attempt to avert a crisis, Mikati said Kordahi made the comment before taking his post and it does not reflect the government’s position. He added that the remarks in no way demonstrate Lebanon’s policy with Arab countries, especially Saudi Arabia.
In a statement on Saturday, former Lebanese PMs called for Kordahi’s resignation.
Yemen has been engulfed by violence and instability since 2014, when Iran-aligned Houthi rebels captured much of the country, including the capital, Sanaa.