Lebanon’s Information Minister George Kordahi linked submitting his resignation to “guarantees” it would change the Gulf’s stance towards his country, Turkish state news agency Anadolu reported, citing sources close to him.
Anadolu’s sources said Kordahi was open to resigning only if his decision would guarantee a reversal of the Gulf’s actions against Beirut.
Kordahi “seeks to find out whether the resignation is accompanied by guarantees that such a step will be received positively by the Gulf, because any resignation that does not change the Gulf’s stance on Lebanon would be in vain,” the sources told Anadolu.
Kordahi sparked a diplomatic crisis with Gulf countries because of his comments on Saudi Arabia and the UAE’s involvement in the Yemen war. He said the Iran-backed Houthis were “defending themselves… against foreign aggression [by the Arab Coalition]” during an interview aired on August 5.
Saudi Arabia expelled Lebanon’s envoy from the country and banned all Lebanese imports. Bahrain and Kuwait followed suit, and the UAE withdrew its diplomats from Beirut and banned its citizens from traveling to Lebanon.
Lebanon’s Prime Minister Najib Mikati has tried to contain diplomatic fallout early on by rejecting Kordahi’s comments and stressing that they had nothing to do with the government’s policy.
Mikati urged Kordahi again on Thursday to prioritize the national interest of Lebanon: “I repeat my call to the Minister of Information to… adopt the stance that needs to be taken and give priority to the national interest.”