Bahrain’s foreign ministry summoned Lebanon’s ambassador and handed him a letter of protests over remarks made by Information Minister George Kordahi about Saudi Arabia and the UAE’s involvement in the Yemen war, state news agency BNA reported on Wednesday.
The ministry labelled Kordahi’s statements as “false allegations denied by internationally documented facts and evidence.”
The ministry said in its letter: “The crimes and violations committed by the terrorist Houthi group against Yemen and its fraternal people, and its continuous attacks on Saudi Arabia since its illegal coup against the government, refute these irresponsible statements that violated diplomatic norms,”.
“[The statements] represented an intentional insult to the countries of the Coalition to support legitimacy in Yemen and ignored the principles and values that govern fraternal relations between Arab countries,” the ministry added.
Saudi Arabia and Kuwait also summoned their Lebanese envoys in protest over Kordahi’s comments.
Kordahi had said that Yemen’s Iran-backed Houthis were defending themselves and described the war in Yemen as “futile”.
The minister said on Wednesday his remarks were his personal views, made before he was appointed a minister and that he was committed to government policy. “I am against Arab-Arab wars… accusing me of hostility towards Saudi Arabia is rejected.”
Lebanon’s Prime Minister Najib Mikati, trying to avert diplomatic fallout, said that Kordahi made those comments in an interview that was recorded more than a month before he became a member of cabinet and that his statements reflected his personal opinion and had nothing to do with government’s policy.
The Gulf Cooperation Council’s secretary general Nayef Falah Mubarak al-Hajraf slammed Kordahi’s statements saying they reflected little understanding and a superficial grasp of the events in Yemen.