Fresh Blow to Lebanon’s Ties With Gulf Nations
Lebanon–Just when people started to assume that Lebanon is starting to get the attention that was needed since the financial crisis took over the country, things have once again gone for toss in terms of its relations with the gulf countries.
Recently the Minister of Information of Lebanon had made some rough comments on Saudi military’s involvement in the Yemen crisis which has led all the other gul nations to believe that Lebanon is sidelining its efforts to establish peace. Criticizing Saudi Arabia, George Kordahi said that Houthi rebels are defending themselves against the attack by the Saudi military.
“They are defending themselves against external attacks launched for years against Yemen,” said Kordahi, who is alo most notably known for being a former host of the Arabic version of the show Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?
The show is affiliated with state owned media network Al Jazeera and while speaking during the show, he addressed the Yemen issue as he criticised the gulf nation led by Saudi Arabia for the condition of the Yemeni citizens. He also said that whatever happened in Yemen is solely due to the aggression that it was subjected to.
He also went on to glorify the war crimes of Houthis saying that the iran-backed militia groups were merely defending itself. These comments were later televised and gulf nations have completely disregarded these allegations proving to be a huge blow for Lebanon who has been trying to sever ties with other neighboring countries.
The Lebanese administration is well aware of the damage that hsi statements have done to the progress that has been made and hence to avoid further fallout, Prime Minister Najib Mikati asserted that the interview where Kordahi made this statement was conducted over a month ago, which was before his cabinet was formed.
Mikati tried to convince the gulf nations that these statements merely represent foreign ministers personal opinions and it had nothing to do with the government. Even though the Prime Minister had taken a backseat on the issue, it was time for Kordahi to do the damage control but he stuck to his previous statement and in fact asserted further that he had done no damage.
However, the minister of the newly formed cabinet stated that he did not intend to attack any gul nation on the issue and his opinions in no way show the mind farme of the Lebanese government of which he has become only now. Gulf nations did not go easy on Lebanon as Riyadh and Kuwait announced the withdrawal of their Lebanon envoys over the comments. As of the Gulf Cooperation Council, the Secretary-General Nayef al-Hajraf officially declared his statements to have a lack of understanding of the issues in Yemen.
More than anything, the statement projects incompetence of Lebanon as a nation as well as a government to give a clear stand on an ongoing issue. Moreover, getting on the bad side of your beneficiaries especially given the condition of Lebanon is the biggest foolishness that the nation could have done.
Lebanon has not been able to earn trust of the majority of the nations. This has to do with its lack of will to form a government, come to an understanding with its citizens as well as the oppositions and also not being able to deal with the financial crisis.
After the currency fell down, the nation was asked to make a government which was trusted enough to be handed over finances by the monetary bodies of the world but Lebanon failed to come to an understanding. Corruption has taken down the country leaving people to struggle to make their ends meet and ast such a time, careless statements like these only make the issue more difficult.
Beirut needs to work on textbook politics. Diplomacy is the very basic requirement for a country to establish itself in the initial stages and Lebanon is miserably daily at that. Working on this very aspect is the only way the country could get back on its feet with or without the help of other nations.