On Friday, Riyadh announced that it had expelled Lebanon’s ambassador in the country and stated it was ending all imports from the economically troubled Mediterranean country.
Hours later, on the same day, the Bahraini foreign ministry also indicated that it expelled the Lebanese ambassador. The UAE and Kuwait also took the same step, while the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), which also includes Qatar and Oman, criticized the comments made by the Lebanese minister.
The reason for the tensions between Lebanon and the two Gulf countries come from remarks made in August by Lebanon’s Information Minister George Kordahi prior to assuming his post, where he criticized the war in Yemen as a dead-end and made critical remarks about Saudi Arabia’s military role in the war-torn country.
Lebanese Prime Minister Najib Mikati said he “regretted” Riyadh’s move in a statement on Friday evening and dismissed Kordahi’s comments, indicating they do not reflect the Lebanese government’s position.