Saudi Arabia’s foreign ministry has expressed satisfaction with the “positive points” contained in a statement by Lebanese prime minister Najib Mikati, indicating that Beirut’s tensions with Gulf Arab states are easing.
Lebanon’s prime minister emphasized the importance of putting an end to all Lebanon-based activities that jeopardize the security and stability of Saudi Arabia and other Gulf Arab countries in a statement issued on Monday.
Following a phone call with Kuwait’s Foreign Minister Sheikh Ahmad Nasser Al-Mohammad Al-Sabah, he added that the Lebanese government is committed to enhancing cooperation with Saudi Arabia.
The Saudi ministry said Tuesday that it welcomed Mikati’s statement and hoped it would “help restore Lebanon’s role and status on Arab and international levels.”
Saudi Arabia and other Gulf countries expelled Lebanese envoys last year in a diplomatic spat that exacerbated Lebanon’s economic crisis, in response to former Information Minister George Kordahi’s critical comments about the Saudi-led military intervention in Yemen.
Riyadh claims that the Lebanon crisis stems from a Lebanese political system that reinforces the Iran-backed Hezbollah’s dominance and continues to foster endemic instability.
Saudi Arabia and its wealthy neighbors once contributed billions of dollars to Lebanon’s development and continue to host a sizable Lebanese diaspora. However, for years, the friendship has been strained by the growing influence of Lebanon’s Hezbollah.
The Lebanese currency has collapsed due to a financial meltdown, leaving the majority of the population impoverished in the face of skyrocketing commodity prices on international markets.