“The Kingdom’s government regrets the outcomes of the relations with the Lebanese Republic due to the Lebanese authorities ignoring facts, and their continued failure to take corrective measures,” the statement carried by state news agency SPA on Friday read.
Ties between Lebanon and Saudi Arabia were already strained, but they soured further on Tuesday after footage began circulating online of Information Minister George Kordahi making critical remarks about the Saudi-led war against Yemen. He said the televised interview was recorded more than a month before he was appointed minister.
Kordahi said the Iran-aligned Houthis are “defending themselves … against external aggression”.
In a statement on Friday evening, Lebanese Prime Minister Najib Mikati said he “regretted” the Saudi moves.
“We also appeal brotherly Arab leaders to work and help to overcome this crisis in order to preserve Arab cohesion,” Mikati said.
The Lebanese authorities, including Prime Minister Mikati and President Michel Aoun, dismissed Kordahi’s comments and said they do not reflect the Lebanese government’s position.
“It is true that we disassociate from conflicts, but we don’t disassociate ourselves from any position that is in solidarity with Saudi Arabia or the Gulf countries,” Mikati said in a press statement earlier this week.