Minister of Information George Kordahi announced Wednesday that he cannot decide to resign “on his own” and said it’s unacceptable for anyone “to dictate on us whether a minister should resign or not.”
“I am part of a cohesive government, and I cannot take a decision on my own,” he said in a press conference after an uproar over controversial statements he had made about the Yemen war.
He went on to say that “no one can dictate on us who should resign from the government and who shouldn’t.”
“Aren’t we a sovereign country?”
He added that “Lebanon shouldn’t remain subject to blackmail from any country, ambassador or individual.”
Kordahi had raised controversy by accusing Saudi Arabia and the UAE of “aggression against Yemen” in a recorded interview with al-Jazeera Online in August, a month before he was appointed as a minister in the government of Prime Minister Najib Miqati.
The statements angered the Gulf countries. The Yemeni, Saudi and Kuwaiti ambassadors to Lebanon condemned the minister’s statements and a Saudi source told MTV “the way out of the diplomatic crisis is to sack Kordahi.”
President Michel Aoun, Prime Minister Najib Miqati, the Minister of Interior and the Foreign Ministry all made statements stressing on the “brotherly ties” between Lebanon, UAE and KSA.
Moreover, Kordahi said his words in the interview were “a personal opinion” and not the government’s position. He added that he is now “committed to the ministerial statement,” as a minister.
Kordahi did not apologize, rejecting the accusation. “I did not attack KSA,” he said, adding that he is against inter-Arab wars, “out of love and friendship, not enmity.”