Lebanese Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah. File photo

Lebanese Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah.

Lebanese Premier Rebukes Hezbollah For Criticizing Saudi Arabia


Lebanese Prime Minister Najib Mikati Monday rebuked the Iran-backed Hezbollah for criticizing Saudi Arabia, saying it did not serve the national interest or represent the country's official stance.

Saudi Arabia and several other Gulf Arab states withdrew ambassadors and expelled Lebanese envoys in October and November over what the kingdom later said was arch-foe Hezbollah's dominance of the Lebanese state.

In a speech, Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah accused Saudi Arabia's king of terrorism on Monday.

"King, the terrorist is the one who has exported ... Daeshi ideology to the world, and it is you," Nasrallah said, using an acronym for Islamic State Sunni terror group.

Mikati responded in a statement, distancing himself from the Hezbollah leader.

"What ... Nasrallah said about the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia this evening does not represent the position of the Lebanese government and most Lebanese. It is not in Lebanon's interest to offend any Arab country, especially the Gulf states.

"For God's sake, have mercy on Lebanon and the Lebanese people and stop the hateful sectarian and political rhetoric."

Lebanese officials including President Michel Aoun, a Hezbollah ally, and Mikati have called for dialogue with Saudi Arabia to resolve the diplomatic crisis, which has piled onto an economic meltdown now in its third year.

Report by Reuters

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