Saudi Arabia wants Lebanon to reduce Hezbollah's presence - Lebanese FM


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Saudi Arabia wants Lebanon to reduce Hezbollah's presence - Lebanese FM
Lebanon's Abdallah Bou Habib believes mutual dialog between Lebanon and Saudi Arabia is the only way forward to solving the diplomatic dispute.
NOVEMBER 2, 2021

Lebanon's foreign minister said Saudi Arabia was dictating impossible terms by asking the government to reduce the role of Iran-backed Hezbollah, adding Beirut's row with Riyadh could be resolved if the kingdom agreed to a dialog with the new Lebanese cabinet. "If they just want Hezbollah's head on a plate, we can't give them that," the minister, Abdallah Bou Habib, told Reuters in an interview on Tuesday.

Lebanon is facing its worst rift yet with Gulf Arab states, spurred by a minister's critical comments about the Saudi-led intervention in Yemen that described the war there as futile. Saudi Arabia and some Gulf Arab allies have reacted angrily to the remarks made by the information minister in an interview last week, which he'd filmed before taking up his position in cabinet. Riyadh expelled Lebanon's ambassador, banned all imports from Lebanon and recalled its envoy for consultations.

Kuwait and Bahrain followed suit by expelling the top envoys in their own capitals, while the United Arab Emirates withdrew all its diplomats from Beirut.