Information Minister George Kordahi on Sunday stressed that he will not resign despite the growing diplomatic crisis with Saudi Arabia and the Gulf countries.
In remarks to al-Jadeed television, Kordahi emphasized that such a move is “out of the question.”
The crisis erupted Friday when Saudi Arabia gave Lebanon’s ambassador 48 hours to leave the country, recalled its envoy from Beirut and suspended all imports from Lebanon.
The Saudi foreign ministry said the measures were taken after “insulting” remarks made by Kordahi on the Yemen war, but also due to the influence of Lebanon’s Iran-backed Hizbullah. The group, it said, controls Lebanese ports and “hijacks” the government’s decision-making in Beirut.
The United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Kuwait were quick to follow suit.
In an interview recorded back in August and aired on Monday, Kordahi slammed the Saudi-led military intervention against Iran-backed Huthi rebels in Yemen. The interview was recorded around a month before he became minister.
Kordahi said the Huthis were “defending themselves… against an external aggression,” sparking angry rebukes from Saudi Arabia and its allies and calls in Lebanon for his resignation.
The minister met with Maronite Patriarch Beshara al-Rahi on Saturday and media reports said the patriarch “advised him to resign.”