UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Following the lead of Saudi Arabia and Bahrain, the UAE and Kuwait yesterday gave the Lebanese ambassadors 48 hours to leave their respective capitals.
The UAE also issued a ban on Emiratis from traveling to Lebanon.
According to these four nations, the harsh move comes in response to remarks made by Lebanese Information Minister George Kordahi in which he criticized the Saudi-led war in Yemen.
In an interview with Al Jazeera that was conducted prior to his appointment as a government official, Kordahi had said that the Yemeni war was “futile.”
He also said that the Ansarallah forces are merely “defending themselves” in the war with the Saudi-led coalition.
Following the expulsion of the Lebanese ambassador, Saudi Arabia also blocked imports from Lebanon, though the trade level between the two countries was already at a low level.
In response, Yemeni resistance leader Mohammad Ali al-Houthi called for a ban on Saudi goods entering Yemen.
He asked the National Salvation Government (NSG) to announce and execute this ban in a tweet posted on Saturday.
“If Saudi Arabia bans Lebanon’s products due to stance taken by Lebanese Information Minister George Kurdahi, I call on the National Salvation Government to hold an emergency meeting and issue a decision to ban Saudi products from entering Yemen,” Al-Houthi said in his tweet.
On 28 October, Hezbollah issued a statement welcoming Kordahi’s defense of Yemenis against the Saudi-led war on their country.
The Lebanese resistance movement also condemned the unfair campaign launched by Saudi, UAE and the Gulf Cooperation Council against the Lebanese minister, labeling it an aggression on Lebanon’s sovereignty as well as on freedom of speech.
Hezbollah denounced Lebanese media outlets and the politicians who participated in the smear campaign, labeling their views as a major slide in morality and an insult to Lebanon’s freedoms, history, people, sovereignty, and national dignity.
It was only two days ago that the Saudi foreign ministry issued a statement announcing the expulsion of the Lebanese envoy.
“These statements represent a new episode of reprehensible and rejected positions issued by Lebanese officials towards the Kingdom and its policies,” the statement reads.
In response to the news, Lebanese Prime Minister Najib Mikati issued a statement in which he said he regrets Riyadh’s decision and hopes the Kingdom’s leadership “with its wisdom will reconsider it.”
“We have always expressed our rejection of any mistreatment of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and we have called for correcting the flaws in the relations between the two brotherly countries,” Mikati added in his statement.
The Saudi-led war on Yemen, the Arab world’s poorest nation, is described by the UN as the worst humanitarian crisis in the world. UNICEF estimates that the war has killed or injured at least 10,000 Yemeni children.