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Arab League urges Persian Gulf states to 'reflect' on anti-Lebanon steps

Arab League Secretary General Ahmed Aboul Gheit speaks during the Baghdad summit in Baghdad, Iraq, August 28, 2021. (Photo by Reuters)

The Arab League says it is concerned about a rapid deterioration of Lebanese-Persian Gulf relations after critical comments made by Lebanese Information Minister George Kordahi regarding the Saudi-led war against Yemen.

In a statement on Saturday quoting Arab League Secretary-General Ahmed Aboul Gheit, it appealed to Persian Gulf countries “to reflect on the measures proposed to be taken … in order to avoid further negative effects on the collapsing Lebanese economy”.

“Aboul Gheit expressed his deep concern and regret over the rapid deterioration in Lebanese-(Persian) Gulf relations …,” the league statement said, adding that it was confident Lebanese President Michel Aoun and Prime Minister Najib Mikati would act quickly to ease the crisis.

The comments come hours after Saudi Arabia banned all imports from Lebanon and gave the Lebanese ambassador 48 hours to leave the country. Saudi Arabia also banned its citizens from travelling to Lebanon.

Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Kuwait also have summoned their envoys to their countries for consultations.

The Arab countries' decision was taken days after an interview with Lebanon’s Information Minister George Kordahi was aired by an online show affiliated with Qatar's al-Jazeera television network.

Kordahi, in comments made on August 5, called the Saudi-led Yemen war futile, and said the impoverished Arab country is subjected to an aggression.

The Lebanese minister added that Yemeni army forces and their allied fighters from Popular Committees are defending themselves.

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