Lebanese Information Minister Kordahi did not specify what guarantees he was seeking but they are believed to be a rollback of diplomatic measures taken by Gulf countries over his comments.

Interior Minister George Kordahi’s remarks on Saudi-led military intervention in Yemen angered a number of Gulf states.
Interior Minister George Kordahi’s remarks on Saudi-led military intervention in Yemen angered a number of Gulf states. (Reuters)

A Lebanese minister whose remarks on Yemen's war sparked a row with Gulf Arab states would consider resigning if diplomatic measures taken against his country are dropped.

"I haven't heard yet of any guarantees, not from domestic nor external powers, but if these guarantees come in ... then I am ready," Information Minister George Kordahi told reporters on Friday.

"I am not holding on to a ministerial position ... I am not in a position to challenge anyone," Kordahi said after meeting Lebanon's parliamentary speaker Nabih Berri.

Kordahi did not specify what guarantees he was seeking but they are thought to be a rollback of the diplomatic measures taken by Saudi Arabia and its Gulf allies over his comments.

Last month, Kordahi criticised the Saudi-led military intervention in Yemen during a pre-recorded interview.

His remarks angered Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates, which responded by recalling their ambassadors from Beirut.

READ MORE: Arab League seeks to ease Saudi-Lebanon diplomatic rift

Row casts shadow over economic meltdown 

In addition to recalling its ambassador, Saudi Arabia banned Lebanese imports and asked the Lebanese envoy to leave the kingdom.

A security source said on Wednesday that Kuwait would also limit the number of visas it issues for Lebanese nationals as a result of the spat.

The standoff, which threatens to plunge Lebanon deeper into economic meltdown, has created rifts over Kordahi's resignation, with Lebanon's powerful Shia movement Hezbollah opposing such a move.

The Saudi foreign minister said this month that Hezbollah's dominance in Lebanon, and not just Kordahi's comments, had prompted the kingdom to take action.

More than 300,000 Lebanese live in Gulf Arab states, providing a key lifeline for its faltering economy, according to the Gulf Labour Markets and Migration think tank.

Saudi Arabia is Lebanon's third-largest export market, accounting for six percent of the country's exports in 2020, worth around $217 million, according to Lebanon's chamber of commerce. 

READ MORE: What’s behind the Saudi-Lebanon diplomatic rift?

Source: AFP