Lebanese controversial minister George Kordahi resigned from office after weeks of tension concerning his criticism of Yemen war.
As Beirut seeks to address the bizarre conflict with Arab nation of the Middle East, the source of controversy resigned from office. Lebanese former Information Minister’s remarks about the bad side of Saudi Arabia’s war against Yemen instigated the disputes.
Kordahi, whose criticism of the Yemen war dated back to before his taking the office as minister, received a harsh blow by Riyadh. Led by Saudi Arabia, a group of Arab countries joined the campaign that the kingdom launched to save its face.
Lebanon, at the pinnacle of its political and economic turmoil, was the main victim. Arab countries started to impose harsh political sanctions against Beirut. Following weeks of tension and instability, the Information minister finally announced his resignation to the benefit of his people. “I won’t accept being used as a reason to harm Lebanon and our Lebanese brothers in Saudi Arabia and other [Persian] Gulf countries,” Kordahi declared following resignation at a press conference.
During the press conference, Kordahi also referred to the prime minister’s advice on the decision. Mikati had found it a chance for using French president as a broker in fixing the ties with Saudi Arabia. Emanuel Macron is in a Persian Gulf tour to visits three regional countries including Saudi Arabia.
“The interests of my country and my people and supporters is above my personal interest. Lebanon is more important than George Kordahi, and the Lebanese interests are more important than a ministerial role,” the former information minister added.
George Kordahi’s resignation remarks indicated the deep pressure by Saudi Arabia following a normal critical view regarding an already failed war. Riyadh reaction further reinforce the views about the kingdom’s weak position concerning Yemen war.
George Kordahi Controversy
George Kordahi took the information ministry for less than 100 days. He had been part of Mikati’s administration entrusted with bringing Lebanon’s spiraling economic meltdown under control. Footage of a TV talk months before his installation surfaced online two months ago. He declared in the video that the Houthi movement are “defending themselves… against an external aggression.” Kordahi went even further to describe Saudi Arabia’s 5-year war fully “futile”.
Kordahi’s remarks drew rapid retaliation from a number of Arab nations. Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait, and the United Arab Emirates withdrew their political delegations from Beirut and expelled Lebanese diplomats. Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates have also asked their residents to return from Lebanon.
Saudi Arabia, on the other hand, has outlawed all trading from Lebanon. It increased the scope of an April prohibition on all goods and farm commodities, which was applied indefinitely. The April move came after a claim that the kingdom foiled an effort to smuggle millions of Illegal amphetamine tablets.
Lebanese traders who have regular shipments to the kingdom found the action as a more intense setback for their enterprises. They all asked the Lebanese government to address the political crisis. “I never meant to insult anyone regarding my comments on the war on Yemen,” George Kordahi explained regarding the businesses.
Arab nations of the Middle East, including Saudi Arabia, have been previously Lebanon’s most important political and economic partners. In recent years, following the expansion of social status of Hezbollah and their allies, Saudi Arabia has tightened the grips over Beirut.
The recent sharp response to a regular political and regional remark shows Saudi Arabia’ inclination to use force against its partners. Riyadh’s sources of power, oil and western support, have made it confident to impose mandatory policies over traditional partners.