Lebanon’s Prime Minister-designate Hariri criticizes a minister’s statements on the Gulf

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BEIRUT (Reuters) – Lebanon’s foreign minister, Charbel Wahba, made scathing remarks about the Gulf states in a televised interview Monday evening, blaming them for the spread of Islamic State, in comments that could add pressure to already strained relations.

Wahba said in an interview with Al-Hurra TV: “… ISIS militants brought them to us, countries of the people of love, friendship and brotherhood… the countries of love brought us the Islamic State, they planted it in the Nineveh Plain, Anbar and Palmyra,” which are areas of Syria and Iraq that the organization took control of in 2014.

When asked “What are you talking about the Gulf states?” Wahba said he did not want to name names. But when asked whether the Gulf states had funded the militant organization, Wahba said, “With my funding, as if?”

Prime Minister-designate Saad Hariri expressed his rejection of the statements, saying that they could undermine foreign relations at a time when Lebanon is facing many crises.

Lebanon faces economic problems that pose the greatest threat to its stability since the 1975-1990 civil war.

The Gulf states, including Saudi Arabia, have been reluctant to provide aid to alleviate Lebanon’s economic woes, and have stayed away while wary of the growing influence of Hezbollah, which is backed by its regional rival Iran.

In April, Saudi Arabia announced a ban on the entry of Lebanese fruits and vegetables or their transport through its territory due to the increase in drug smuggling, after it said that customs in the port of Jeddah managed to thwart the attempt to smuggle a large quantity of Captagon pills, amounting to more than 5.3 million pills, hidden in the consignment of pomegranate fruit. .

Hariri’s office said in a statement condemning Wahba’s statements, “as if the crises that the country is submerging in and the boycott it suffers are not enough.”

(Laila Bassam Press Coverage – Prepared by Mostafa Saleh for the Arabic Bulletin)





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