Saturday 4 December 2021

Lebanese Information Minister resigns ahead of Macron’s visit to KSA

 December 03 2021

ByNews Desk

Kordahi’s resignation was made in the expectation that Macron’s visit with Saudi Arabia would help ease the economic pressure on Lebanon

(AP Photo/Bilal Hussein)

At noon on 3 December, Lebanese Minister of Information George Kordahi submitted his resignation to President Michel Aoun and to the government of Lebanon.

The now former information minister, who joined Prime Minister Najib Mikati’s newly assembled cabinet, resigned over the diplomatic row with Saudi Arabia when Kordahi’s comments against the war in Yemen caused Saudi Arabia to recall its ambassador from Lebanon and ban all Lebanese imports.

Months before assuming his post, Kordahi had said that the Yemenis were defending themselves against the Saudi-led siege on Yemen, calling the war against Yemen ‘futile.’

In a statement given upon his resignation at a press conference, Kordahi said: “An intentional campaign was launched against me in some Lebanese and Gulf media and communication sites,” and that “because of this massive and unjust pressure against Lebanon, I refused to resign.”

He also said that “all those who attacked me in Lebanon were the ones who raised slogans of freedom and independence.”

Kordahi’s resignation on Friday emerged out of the hope that French President Emmanuel Macron’s upcoming visit to Saudi Arabia would help ease the pressure on Lebanon.

Kordahi told AFP ahead of his resignation that he does “not want to cling to this position if it can be useful,” hoping instead his resignation will come ahead of a possible deal between Macron and Saudi Arabia that would alleviate the economic and political blows waged by the kingdom. “I want to give Lebanon a chance,” he said.

He added that “the interest of my country and family is above my personal interest, and the interest of the Lebanese is more important than my ministerial position.”

“I don’t accept being used as a tool to harm my Lebanese brothers in the Gulf. The war in Yemen will not last forever, and a day will come when the warring sides will sit at the table,” Kordahi said.

At the peak of the crisis, Saudi officials had said that Kordahi’s comments reflected ‘Iranian influence’ in Lebanese politics.

The diplomatic row between Saudi Arabia and Lebanon, however, reveals one of many examples of Saudi Arabia’s much more influential position in politics over Lebanon.

In banning Lebanese imports and breaking economic ties over a minor issue, Saudi Arabia demonstrated an aggressive ability to strike at Lebanon’s already struggling economy.

In 2017, Saudi Arabia kidnapped and tortured Saad al-Hariri, the then prime minister of Lebanon, releasing him three weeks later.

River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian   
The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the Blog!

No comments: