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Saudi Arabia has ordered the ambassador of Lebanon to leave the country and banned all imports from Lebanon. Actually, this action has been taken by the Kingdom because a Lebanese minister had called the ongoing war in Yemen as Saudi ‘aggression’. At the same time, a few hours later, on Friday, the Kingdom of Bahrain ordered the ambassador of Lebanon to leave the country within two days for the same reason. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Bahrain gave this information.
Lebanon’s prime minister and president discussed Saudi Arabia’s decision and asked the country’s information minister to take an appropriate decision. Saudi Arabia’s state media reported in its report that the Kingdom’s ambassador to Beirut has also been asked to return home. The report said the move would not affect the thousands of Lebanese citizens and their families who currently live and work in the oil-rich country. Significantly, the war in Yemen has been going on since 2015. During this, a war is being fought against the Houthi rebels in Yemen under the leadership of Saudi Arabia.
Lebanon is facing economic crisis
The Saudi decision to ban imports from Lebanon comes at a time when this small Middle East country is facing a severe shortage of foreign exchange. Lebanon is going through the worst economic and financial crisis in its modern history. The Lebanese pound has lost more than 90 percent of its value since the Lebanese economic recession began in late 2019. Tens of thousands of people have lost their jobs and now three quarters of the country’s residents live in poverty. Regional economic powerhouse Saudi Arabia has been a major market for Lebanese products for decades.
Why has the controversy arisen?
In fact, a video went viral on social media, in which Lebanese Information Minister George Kordahi described the Yemen War as aggression by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. He said the war in Yemen is absurd and should be stopped because he opposes war between Arabs. Lebanese Prime Minister Najib Mikati’s office said he discussed the situation with President Michel Aoun before calling Kordadi. During this, the President was asked to take appropriate decisions for the sake of national interests.
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