Bahrain asks Lebanese ambassador to leave country within 48 hours

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Bahrain Saturday asked the Lebanese ambassador to leave the country within 48 hours after an official of Lebanon criticised Saudi Arabia-led war against Houthi rebels in Yemen.

Bahrain’s Foreign Ministry said Lebanese Ambassador Milad Hanna Nemmour was asked to leave due to unacceptable statement by a Lebanese official.

The development comes a day after Saudi Arabia recalled its ambassador to Lebanon for consultations and ordered the Lebanese envoy to leave the Kingdom within 48 hours.

The ties between the Muslim countries started deteriorating after Lebanese Information Minister George Kordahi criticized the Saudi-led war against armed Houthi rebels.

Kordahi had made the comments in an interview, which is said to be recorded before he assumed his new charge in the government.

Asked if he “thinks that the Houthis, like Hezbollah, are defending their land as an armed organization,” Kordahi responded: “Of course they are defending themselves … My personal opinion is that this war in Yemen needs to end. Houses, buildings, villages, and cities are being attacked by fighter jets.”

A Saudi Foreign Ministry statement carried by the Kingdom’s news agency said Hezbollah damaged Riyadh-Beirut relations and the “terrorist” group influences the decisions of the Lebanese state.

In a bid to avert diplomatic crisis, Lebanese Prime Minister Najib Mikati said Kordahi made the remarks taking charge, adding that his comments did not reflect the government’s policy.

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