Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to Lebanon has condemned remarks by Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah, expressing hope that Leabnese will end the group's "hegemony" in the country.
Earlier this week, Nasrallah called King Salman a “terrorist” and accused Riyadh of exporting Islamic extremism.
Saudi envoy Waleed Bukhari, who left Lebanon in late October, said on Thursday that “Hezbollah’s terrorist activities and regional military behavior” threaten the security of Arab countries.
“Riyadh hopes that political parties will give priority to the supreme interest of Lebanon… and end Hezbollah’s terrorist hegemony over every aspect of the state,” Bukhari said, stressing that ties with Lebanon are too deep to be affected by “irresponsible and absurd statements.”
Lebanese Prime Minister Najib Mikati said criticism of Saudi Arabia by the leader of the Iran-backed Hezbollah group did not serve the national interest or represent the country’s official stance.
Late in October, Saudi Arabia severed diplomatic relations with Lebanon following statements by the then-Lebanese information minister criticizing Riyadh’s military intervention in Yemen. The Saudi foreign minister later said that Hezbollah’s dominance in Lebanon, and not just the minister’s comments, had prompted the Sunni kingdom to cut ties.
Saudi Arabia and other wealthy Arab states always assisted Lebanon, which is struggling with an unprecedented economic crisis since 2019.