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Saudi, Kuwaiti ambassadors return to Lebanon
The return of the diplomats comes less than a month after far-right leader Samir Geagea pleaded with the Saudi kingdom to 'save Lebanon'
By News Desk - April 08 2022
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(Photo credit: AFP via Getty Images)

On 7 April, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait announced the return of their ambassadors to Lebanon, in a sign of improving ties that hit rock bottom last year after Riyadh launched a diplomatic and economic war against the crisis-hit country.

A statement released by the Saudi foreign ministry said the return of the ambassadors was “in response to the calls and appeals of the moderate national political forces in Lebanon,” and that Beirut agreed to “stop all political, military and security activities affecting” Saudi Arabia and other Gulf Arab nations.

Just last month, the head of the far-right Lebanese Forces (LF) party, Samir Geagea, called on Saudi leaders to return to Lebanon because “the Lebanese people are in dire need of their assistance.”

“There is one and only solution, and it is one that has historically saved Lebanon in every crisis [before], and that is the help of the Gulf brothers, led by the kingdom of Saudi Arabia,” the Israeli-trained Christian leader said in relation to the crisis Lebanon has been experiencing since 2019.

Lebanon’s Prime Minister Najib Mikati, meanwhile, has announced that Kuwait will return its ambassador to Beirut “before the end of the week.”

Tensions between Beirut and several countries in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) reached an all-time high last year after then-information minister George Kordahi made comments criticizing the Saudi-led aggression on Yemen, prompting the kingdom and its allies to sever diplomatic ties with Beirut and ban all Lebanese imports.

Kordahi, who has since resigned, said in a television interview that Yemen’s Ansarallah resistance movement were “defending themselves … against an external aggression.”

But despite Riyadh’s stated reasons for the diplomatic row, last November Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah said that the diplomatic crisis between Lebanon and several Gulf States had been “fabricated” and was “highly exaggerated.”

The resistance leader also said that the Saudis’ excessive reaction to Kordahi’s comments was meant to exert pressure on Hezbollah, an ally of Ansarallah.

Reports from the time also indicated that Saudi Arabia was hoping to create enough chaos in Lebanon to pave the way for their allies in parliament to defeat Hezbollah in the upcoming elections.

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