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Lebanon's foreign minister offers to quit after comments strained Gulf ties

Reuters/Beirut
Filed on May 19, 2021
Reuters

Charbel Wehbe suggested that Gulf states had supported the rise of Islamic State, among other disparaging comments.


Lebanon's foreign minister asked the president to be relieved of his duties on Wednesday, the presidency said, after his comments in a television interview strained ties with traditional Gulf Arab allies and donors.

Charbel Wehbe, who is a minister in the caretaker government, suggested on Monday that Gulf states had supported the rise of Islamic State, among other disparaging comments.

Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Kuwait and Bahrain summoned Lebanon's ambassadors and issued formal complaints.

The comments have threatened Lebanese efforts amid its deep economic crisis to improve ties with Gulf states.

After meeting President Michel Aoun, Wehbe said he had submitted a request to step down "in light of the recent developments and the circumstances that accompanied the interview I gave to a television station".





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