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Maronite patriarch reportedly tells Kordahi to quit

Embattled Information Minister George Kordahi on Saturday visited Maronite Patriarch Beshara al-Rahi in Bkirki and left without making a statement, amid a diplomatic storm sparked by his remarks on Yemen’s war.

Asked upon his arrival whether he intends to resign, Kordahi told reporters that he would wait to “see what the patriarch wants.”

MTV meanwhile reported that the two men “evaluated the resignation decision and what’s better for the country,” noting that al-Rahi might have advised Kordahi to resign.

“Al-Rahi insisted in his meeting with Kordahi on adopting neutrality in Lebanon’s relations with the neighboring countries,” Bkirki sources told MTV.

Marada Movement chief Suleiman Franjieh, who named Kordahi to be a minister in the new government, had also met with al-Rahi earlier in the day. Speaking after the talks, Franjieh revealed that Kordahi had suggested to announce his resignation from Bkirki or Baabda.

“I refused because he did not make any mistake. Still I am with any decision he takes,” Franjieh added.

Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates on Saturday followed the Saudis and Bahrainis with punishable measures against Lebanon, increasing pressure on the small, crisis-hit country badly in need of foreign assistance to help it ease a crippling economic and financial crisis.

On Saturday afternoon, Saudi Ambassador to Lebanon Walid Bukhari flew home after he was recalled by his government, according to airport officials in Beirut. Bukhari's departure came a day after Saudi Arabia ordered Lebanon's ambassador to Riyadh to leave within 48 hours and banned all imports from Lebanon.

On a TV program filmed in August and aired this week, Kordahi had described the war in Yemen as an “aggression” by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. He called the war "absurd," saying it must stop because he is opposed to wars between Arabs. The program was recorded around a month before Kordahi became minister.


Written by The Levant