BEIRUT — Education Minister Abbas Halabi has been assigned as the caretaker information minister, the premiership announced in a statement Friday following the resignation of George Kurdahi over controversial comments which escalated into a diplomatic crisis with Saudi Arabia and Gulf States.
Here’s what we know:
• “Premier Mikati contacted the Minister of Education Judge Abbas Halabi and asked him to act as a caretaker in the Ministry of Information during the transitional period following Kurdahi’s resignation,” the premiership shared in a tweet.
• Prime Minister Najib Mikati said he looked forward to “the restoration of normal ties with Saudi Arabia and Gulf States, founded on love, respect and the preservation of each state’s sovereignty, security, privacy and dignity of their people” in a statement issued after receiving Kurdahi’s resignation, the state-run National News Agency reported.
• The premier said that Kurdahi’s resignation was “necessary given the diplomatic crisis with Saudi Arabia” and should “open a door for restoring Lebanon’s ties with the kingdom and the Gulf states.” The statement added that “the government, as decreed in its ministerial statement, is committed to reinforcing Lebanon’s ties with Arab states.”
• The statement continued, explaining that “Lebanon and Saudi Arabia are bound through historic ties capable of overcoming transient differences and comments that only carry considerate reproach.” During the speech in which Kurdahi announced his resignation, he indicated that his comments on the Saudi military intervention in Yemen, which sparked the diplomatic crisis, were motivated by feelings of love for “Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Gulf States and Lebanon.”
• “The government calls on the whole of Lebanese actors to prioritize the interest of their country before all else and to avoid offending friendly countries in any way and to not meddle in their affairs,” Mikati’s statement added.
• Mikati also announced that “the government is determined to enforce strict measures, such as land and maritime border control and the formation of a joint committee, to prevent the smuggling of contraband that can jeopardize the security of Arab states, especially Saudi Arabia and Gulf states.” Saudi Arabia had placed a ban on Lebanese agricultural imports following the discovery of captagon, an illicit stimulant, smuggled in a shipment of pomegranates in April.
BEIRUT — Education Minister Abbas Halabi has been assigned as the caretaker information minister, the premiership announced in a statement Friday following the resignation of George Kurdahi over controversial comments which escalated into a diplomatic crisis with Saudi Arabia and Gulf States.Here’s what we know: • “Premier Mikati contacted the Minister of Education Judge...