Abu Dhabi: The UAE and Saudi Arabia have strongly condemned the offensive remarks made by the Lebanese Minister of Information against the Arab coalition supporting legitimacy in Yemen.
In a statement issued by the Emirati Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, the UAE expressed its vehement condemnation of such disgraceful and biased remarks made by George Kurdahi, which offended the countries of the coalition supporting legitimacy in Yemen.
Accordingly, the ministry summoned the Lebanese ambassador to UAE and handed him an official memo of protest against such remarks, which are considered polemics that contradict diplomatic norms and go against the history of Lebanon’s relations with countries of the Arab coalition; in addition, the remarks also reflect Lebanon’s growing alienation from its Arab brothers, the statement reads.
Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs also summoned Lebanon’s Ambassador to the Kingdom Fawzi Kabbara to protest against the controversial statements made by Kurdahi.
In a statement, the ministry said that it had handed Kabbara an official protest note against Kurdahi's statements. The ministry described the statements as offensive to the efforts of the Saudi-led Arab Coalition in support of the internationally recognized government in Yemen.
The ministry expressed Saudi Arabia’s regret over the “offensive remarks towards the Kingdom and the coalition countries. These statements hold Kurdahi responsible for clearly biased towards the Yemeni Ansar Allah (Houthis) group, which is threatening the security and stability of the region.”
The ministry stressed that these statements contradict the simplest political norms and are inconsistent with the historical relations between the two sisterly peoples.
“The ambassador’s summons came in view of the repercussions that these offensive statements may have on the relations between the two countries,” the statement added.
In solidarity with the two GCC nations, the Kuwaiti Foreign Ministry voiced vehement condemnation and disapproval of the Lebanese information minister's remarks on Saudi Arabia and UAE (UAE), Kuwait News Agency (KUNA) reported.
In his comments, the Lebanese minister pressed baseless accusations against both sisterly countries, which ignore their great and much-appreciated role in supporting Yemen and its people and even contradict the authentic reality of the current situation in Yemen, the ministry said in a statement.
The statements also run counter to the Lebanese government's official position and wink at the crucial role of Saudi Arabia and the UAE as well as the Arab coalition to support Yemen's legitimacy, it added.
The Kuwaiti Foreign Ministry has summoned the Lebanese charge d'affires in Kuwait Hadi Hashem and handed him an official memo of protest including Kuwait's utter disapproval of these comments which have nothing to do whatsoever with the reality and contradict the simplest rules of dealings between countries.
Bahrain’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs also summoned the Lebanese Ambassador to the Kingdom of Bahrain today and handed him a letter of protest expressing the Kingdom’s strong condemnation of the statements made by the Lebanese Minister of Information towards Saudi Arabia and the UAE, and the false allegations he made regarding the course of the war in Yemen that are denied by internationally documented facts and evidence, Bahrain news agency (BNA) reported.
In the memo, the ministry confirmed that the crimes and violations committed by the terrorist Houthi group against the Republic of Yemen and its brotherly people, and its continuous attacks on the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, since its illegal coup against the government, refute these irresponsible statements that violated diplomatic norms, constituted a deliberate offence to the countries of the coalition to support legitimacy in Yemen, and ignored the principles and values that govern fraternal relations between Arab countries.
Yemen’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs also denounced the statement made by Kurdahi. The Yemeni Ambassador to Lebanon has handed the Lebanese Foreign Ministry a protest note against the statements made by the Minister.
Ahmed A. Bin Mubarak, Yemen's Minister of Foreign and Expatriates Affairs, said he has requested the Yemeni Ambassador to Lebanon to hand over the Lebanese Foreign Ministry a letter of condemnation over the statements issued by the Lebanese Minister of Information.
The GCC also condemned the comments made by Kurdahi in a statement issued earlier on Tuesday.
“The Lebanese Information Minister's remarks reflect an inadequate understanding and a rejected superficial reading,” the GCC said in a statement released on Twitter.
The statement also added that Kurdahi “ignored” the Houthi’s attempts at obstructing proposed solutions to the war in Yemen.
“Lebanon's Minister of Information should apologize, and Lebanese state should clarify its position,” the Council added in its statement.
Earlier on Tuesday, Lebanon’s information minister triggered a social media frenzy when a video of him referring to the Houthis as defending themselves emerged online.
When the TV host of Barlamanasha3b asked him about his position on what is happening in Yemen, Kurdahi said ‘they’ [referring to Houthis] are defending themselves’.
He questioned in an exclamatory tone, ‘Them! Are they attacking anyone?’.
“In my opinion, this Yemeni war is absurd and should stop,” he said.
During his appearance on the media platform Barlamanasha3b [People’s Parliament]'s broadcast, carried out on Aug. 5, Kurdahi also wished for a ‘temporary military coup’ to emanate and restructure Lebanon's political life. “I wish that a military coup happens in Lebanon, yet a temporary military coup that comes to organize and reorganize the political life in Lebanon,” Kurdahi was heard telling the TV host in the short video.
George Kurdahi is a Lebanese TV presenter and former host of the Arabic version of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? On 10 September 2021, he was appointed as the Information Minister of Lebanon.