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Lebanon on ‘downhill slope’ in Gulf crisis

Lebanese Prime Minister Najib Mikati says his country is facing a “downhill slope” in its growing diplomatic row with the Gulf following critical comments made by a minister about the Saudi-led intervention in Yemen

“We face a downhill slope and if we don’t avoid it, we will end up where nobody wants us to,” the pro-Iranian Beirut-based Al Mayadeen TV channel reported Mikati as saying.

The prime minister also urged Information Minister George Kordahi, who made the comments that sparked the fallout, to “put his patriotic sense above all else” to help defuse the crisis.

Saudi Arabia expelled the Lebanese envoy to Riyadh and banned all Lebanon’s imports to the kingdom on Friday.

Bahrain and Kuwait also summoned their envoys while the United Arab Emirates withdrew all its diplomats from Beirut and banned its citizens from travel to the country.

Kordahi has said his comments were made before becoming a minister and that he would not resign.

On Monday, Al Mayadeen cited Mikati as saying his appeal to Kordahi to put national interest first had not been heeded.

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