Mikati: Information Minister’s Comments on Saudi Arabia, UAE Rejected

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Mikati: Information Minister’s Comments on Saudi Arabia, UAE Rejected

Lebanon’s prime minister rejected controversial comments made by his information minister against Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates during an interview that surfaced late Tuesday in which he defended the Iran-backed Houthi militia.

“George Kordahi’s recent comments do not express the government's position on the Yemeni issue. Lebanon is committed to its ties with Arab countries and my government is keen to have the best relations with Saudi Arabia,” PM Najib Mikati said in statements released shortly after the video was circulated.

Kordahi appeared on an Al Jazeera-affiliated youth show when he was asked the difference between the Lebanese Hezbollah militant group and the Yemeni Houthis.

Kordahi said that the Houthi militia’s actions were in “self-defense” and that they were not the aggressors.

This is second time a Lebanese official has made controversial comments toward Saudi Arabia and other Gulf nations.

In May, then-foreign minister Charbel Wehbe stoked tensions with televised remarks that suggested Gulf states had supported the rise of ISIS and blamed them for the war in Syria. Wehbe quickly stepped down from his role.

On Tuesday, Lebanon's interior minister took to Twitter to try to mitigate the seemingly inevitable backlash from Kordahi's comments.

“We are keen on the best ties with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabi and all countries of the [GCC], and we reject attacks against them. We affirm our commitment to its stability and security…,” Bassam Mawlawi tweeted.

Source: Al Arabiya