In the midst of the Yemen conflict, Saudi Arabia expelled Lebanon’s ambassador.

Saudi Arabia has ordered Lebanon’s ambassador to depart within 48 hours after a Lebanese minister made “insulting” remarks.

A blanket ban on all imports from Lebanon has also been imposed by the country.

The move comes just days after Lebanon’s media minister made comments criticising the Saudi-led war campaign in Yemen that provoked uproar in the country.

Bahrain and Kuwait have also ordered the expulsion of Lebanese ambassadors as a result of the row.

Lebanon’s prime minister expressed regret for Saudi Arabia’s action and expressed hope that they would reconsider.

The Arab League expressed alarm over the deteriorating relations on Saturday, urging Gulf countries to “consider the steps offered… in order to avoid additional severe impacts on the collapsing Lebanese economy.”

Lebanon’s Information Minister George Kordahi appeared to name Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) aggressors in the Yemen war in an interview aired earlier this week but filmed in August.

Yemen has been fighting the Houthi Shia Muslim rebel movement for seven years, with a Saudi-led military coalition of predominantly Sunni Muslim Arab governments.

Mr Kordahi, who spoke before becoming a minister, described the fighting as “futile” and claimed the Houthis were acting in “self-defense.”

International condemnation has been levelled at both Saudi Arabia and the rebels in Yemen for alleged atrocities.

The Lebanese government, on the other hand, stated that Mr Kordahi’s words did not reflect its position.

In recent years, relations between Lebanon and Saudi Arabia have deteriorated. Hezbollah, an Iranian-backed militant group that also supports Houthi rebels in Yemen, has risen in strength in Lebanon.

Kordahi is a member of a Hezbollah-aligned political bloc.

Within hours following Saudi Arabia’s statement, Bahrain dismissed its Lebanese ambassador, followed by Kuwait. Both countries are close friends of Saudi Arabia and are members of the Gulf Cooperation Council.

The deterioration in relations comes as Lebanon faces a deepening economic crisis and political infighting. Fuel shortages have resulted in blackouts, and fast inflation has rendered much of the population impoverished and unable to afford basic necessities.

Prime Minister Najib Mikati responded by saying he was “truly sorry” for Saudi Arabia’s decision and that he would seek to mend relations.

“We’ll keep working to fix the problems that need to be solved,” he stated.”

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