The Lebanese presidency stressed on Tuesday that caretaker Foreign Minister Charbel Wehbe’s statements against Saudi Arabia are his personal opinion and do not reflect official policy.
In remarks to al-Hurra television on Monday, Wehbe indirectly implied that Saudi Arabia was funding ISIS.
The presidency said his comments sparked reactions that aim to harm the current fraternal relations between Lebanon and the Gulf.
This was evident in the political statements, as well as the systematic media campaign that ensued in spite of the caretaker minister’s clarification that he did not name the Gulf countries during his remarks on Monday, added the presidency.
It underscored the depth of the fraternal relations between Lebanon and the Gulf, starting with Saudi Arabia.
It said that it was keen on maintaining these ties and boosting them in all fields.
The remarks by the foreign minister only reflect his opinion, not the Lebanese state and its president, Michel Aoun, who is keen on rejecting any offense to fraternal countries, especially Saudi Arabia and the Gulf, it continued.
Prime Minister-designate Saad Hariri, meanwhile, stressed that Arab support to Lebanon was vital.
“As if the crises that the country is drowning in and the boycott it is suffering from are not enough,” he said.
Crushed by debt, Lebanon's economy has imploded, sending its currency into tailspin. A massive blast at Beirut port in August added to its woes, prompting the last government to resign. It is now acting in a caretaker role.
Months later, politicians in the fractious, sectarian system are still squabbling over new appointments.