Neither Aoun nor Mikati mentioned the option of the resignation of Information Minister George Kordahi as one of the options for resolving the crisis with the Gulf, which was ignited by Qardahi’s statements regarding Yemen.
Lebanese President Michel Aoun said that addressing what happened between Lebanon and Saudi Arabia recently must take place through a sincere dialogue between the two countries, calling for a separation between the positions of the state and what is issued by individuals or groups outside the positions of responsibility.
Aoun added during his meeting on Monday with the Assistant Secretary-General of the League of Arab States Hossam Zaki in Beirut that his country welcomes “any effort by the Arab League to restore fraternal relations with Saudi Arabia.”
And he continued – according to what the Lebanese presidency stated on Twitter – that Lebanon “will not hesitate to take any position that helps prepare the atmosphere for frankness.”
For his part, Zaki stressed, after meeting Aoun, the importance of finding a way out of this crisis, stressing the existence of a dialogue between the Secretary-General of the League and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia regarding the Lebanese-Gulf crisis.
In a related context, Lebanese Prime Minister Najib Mikati said – today, Monday – that his country will make every effort to remove what mars the relations with Saudi Arabia and the Gulf states.
During his meeting with the Assistant Secretary-General of the League of Arab States in Beirut, Mikati stressed that Lebanon is keen to restore its normal relations with Saudi Arabia and the Gulf states.
He added that Lebanon will make every possible effort to remove the gaps in these relations and to address the differences in the spirit of brotherhood and cooperation.
Mikati reiterated Lebanon’s commitment to all Arab League decisions regarding the Yemeni crisis, stemming from the UN Security Council resolution, the Gulf initiative and the principle of dialogue between the concerned parties.
“hole in the door”
In turn, Zaki said after meeting the Lebanese Prime Minister that “there is a hole in the door that we can pass through in order to overcome the crisis.”
And local Lebanese media reported – quoting the Assistant Secretary-General of the Arab League – that the resignation of the Lebanese Minister of Information, George Kordahi, “could have defused the crisis from the beginning” between Beirut and the Gulf states.
Earlier on Monday, Zaki announced that he had arrived in the capital, Beirut; With the aim of making efforts to bring the views closer and resolve the crisis between Lebanon and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
Lebanon is facing what is described as its worst dispute with the Gulf states, as a result of statements made by the Lebanese Minister of Information, George Kordahi, regarding the war in Yemen before his appointment to the government.
Qardahi said – in an interview broadcast on October 25, which was recorded weeks before his appointment as a minister – that the Houthis in Yemen are defending themselves in the face of what he sees as external aggression from Saudi Arabia and the UAE.
Following these statements, Riyadh withdrew its ambassador in Beirut and asked the Lebanese ambassador to leave, and the UAE, Bahrain, Kuwait and Yemen also took similar steps.
While Qardahi believes that his speech did not offend any country, and therefore refuses to apologize or resign, last Thursday Mikati renewed his call for Qardahi to take a position that preserves Lebanon’s interest.