RIYADH: Saudi Arabia recalled its ambassador to Lebanon on Friday for consultations and requested the departure of Lebanon's envoy to the Kingdom during the next 48 hours.
The Kingdom also banned all Lebanese imports into the country, Saudi Press Agency reported.
The Kingdom reiterated a previous ban on citizens travelling to Lebanon in the interest of their safety considering the increasing instability in the country.
The move comes after a video emerged on Tuesday of Lebanon’s information minister George Kordahi making offensive comments saying that the Iran-aligned Houthis were defending themselves and calling the war in Yemen “futile.”
He also described the war as a Saudi “aggression.”
Lebanon’s failure to take measures demanded by the Kingdom to stop the export of drugs from Lebanon through Lebanese exports into the Kingdom, especially in light of Hezbollah’s control of all ports, contributed to the decision, SPA reported.
The news agency added that Beirut’s failure to impose penalties on those involved in these crimes targeting the people of Saudi Arabia and the lack of cooperation in extraditing wanted people to the Kingdom in contravention of the Riyadh Arab Agreement for Judicial Cooperation was another reason for the decision.
The Kingdom regrets the outcome of relations with Lebanon due to authorities in Beirut ignoring the facts and their continued failure to take corrective measures to ensure good relations with the Kingdom, SPA added.
Hezbollah’s control over Lebanon has made the state an arena and a launch pad for implementing projects of countries that do not wish the best for Lebanon and its people who have historical ties with the Kingdom, the news agency said.
The Kingdom said that Lebanese citizens residing in Saudi Arabia are dear to the Saudi people and considered part of bond that unites Saudis with their Arab brothers residing in the Kingdom.