RIYADH: Saudi Arabia summoned the Lebanese ambassador to the Kingdom on Wednesday over “offensive” comments made by Lebanon’s information minister.
The foreign ministry expressed its disappointment at comments made by Lebanon's Information Minister George Kordahi regarding the Arab coalition in Yemen.
It said it was disappointed by the “insults contained in those statements directed at the Kingdom and countries part of the Arab coalition.”
The ministry said that the statements showed a clear bias toward the Houthis who threaten security and stability in the region.
The “statements contradict the simplest political norms and are inconsistent with the historic relations between the two brotherly peoples,” the ministry added.
Kordahi sparked controversy on Tuesday when a video of him referring to the Houthis as defending themselves emerged online. He also called the war in Yemen “futile.”
The comments were made before he took up his current position.
Lebanese Prime Minister Najib Mikati said the interview was recorded more than a month before his cabinet was formed and reflected a personal opinion that had nothing to do with government.
The Houthis continue to target civilians and civilian infrastructure in the Kingdom and Yemen almost daily.
The UAE condemned the “disgraceful and biased statements” made by Kordahi and summoned the Lebanese ambassador to the country in protest.
The Emirati foreign ministry said it informed the ambassador of its protest and denunciation of the statements, saying they “reflect Lebanon’s growing distance from its Arab brotherly countries.”
The Gulf Cooperation Council condemned the comments while Bahrain summoned the Lebanese envoy to protest against the statements.
Kuwait also summoned Lebanon's charge d’affaires and the Yemeni foreign ministry called on Beirut to clarify its position on the comments, according to a statement issued by its embassy in Beirut.