Qatar in talks with Lebanon to mitigate crisis with Gulf

Qatar's Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed Bin Abdulrahman Al Thani spoke by phone with his Lebanese colleague over the escalating diplomatic situation with members of the Gulf Cooperation Council.

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An official source stated that Qatar’s Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed Bin Abdulrahman Al Thani spoke by phone with his Lebanese colleague, Abdallah Bou Habib, over the escalating diplomatic situation with GCC members.

The Lebanese minister commended Doha for its efforts in “containing and mitigating the severity of the crisis” during the conversation, according to the Lebanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

To de-escalate tensions that have risen over the past week, Bou Habib highlighted the need of communicating and meeting with all “brotherly” Arab and Gulf countries.

On Saturday, Doha’s foreign ministry said it “called on the Lebanese government to urgently and decisively take the necessary measures, in this regard, to calm the situation and to quickly heal the rift between the brothers.”

Qatar, on the other hand, called Kordahi’s remarks “irresponsible,” accusing him of pushing Lebanon into an “external crisis.”

The Lebanese ministry had previously expressed gratitude to Oman for its stance on the issue in a statement. Unlike its Gulf Cooperation Council neighbors, Oman’s Foreign Ministry urged for de-escalation and the use of diplomacy to resolve issues, rather than imposing punitive measures on Beirut.

Tensions erupted last week after statements made by George Kordahi, the current Minister of Information, reappeared online. Kordahi criticized the Saudi-led coalition’s military operation in Yemen before his appointment as a government official, calling the conflict “futile” and adding it is “about time for it to end.”

Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Kuwait, and Bahrain recalled their ambassadors to Lebanon earlier this week in reaction to Kordahi’s statements, while the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), which also includes Qatar and Oman, criticized Kordahi’s remarks.

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