Riyadh city skyline
Riyadh city skyline at night. Image Credit: Shutterstock

Dubai: Saudi Arabia on Tuesday summoned Lebanese ambassador in the Kingdom and handed him a note of protest against the dergatory remarks made by caretaker Lebanese Foreign Minister, Charbel Wehbe, state media said.

Given the fallout that the derogatory statements may have on bilateral relations, the Saudi Foreign Ministry summoned the Lebanese ambassador to the Kingdom to express the Kingdom’s rejection and denunciation of the remarks made by the Lebanese foreign minister.

The Ministry has strongly condemned derogatory statements made by Charbel Wehbe, during a TV interview on Monday,

the Saudi foreign ministry said the disgraceful remarks were also against GCC states, not only Saudi Arabia and its people, according to a statement carried by the Saudi Press Agency SPA on Tuesday,

The foreign ministry said that these statements are inconsistent with the simplest diplomatic norms and are inconsistent with the historical relations between the two countries.

Earlier in the day, Lebanon’s President Michel Aoun said the foreign minister’s comments about GCC countries do not reflect official policy, adding that his country is keen to maintain good relations with Gulf countries, particularly Saudi Arabia.

The remarks by the Lebanese president come a day after the country’s caretaker foreign minister made derogatory remarks aimed at Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states and suggested the Kingdom helped fund the rise of Daesh.

“The presidency considers that the foreign minister’s remarks express his personal opinion, and in no way reflect the position of the Lebanese state and its President General Michel Aoun, who is keen on rejecting any offence against friendly countries in general and Saudi Arabia and Gulf states in particular,”Aoun’s office said.

Wehbe, also attempted to backtrack his statements, saying: “I wish to stress, once again, that some of the inappropriate expressions that I have uttered out of emotion in rejection of the unacceptable offenses directed against President Aoun, are the kind for which I do not hesitate to apologize.”

“Also, the intention was not, at any time, to offend any of the brotherly Arab countries or peoples, with my efforts never ceasing to strengthen relations with them for the common welfare and interest, and always on the basis of mutual respect,” he added in the statement.