RIYADH: The rift between Saudi Arabia and Lebanon, following the latter's information minister George Kordahi's offensive comments, has intensified to calling on Lebanon's envoy to leave the Kingdom in the next 48 hours.
Saudi also reasserted a previous ban on its citizen visiting Lebanon on security concerns besides a blanket ban on all imports from the country that is being pushed into an internal conflict.
Lebanon's information minister George Kordahi is reported to have made a controversial comment that the Iran-aligned Houthis were defending themselves and calling the war in Yemen "futile." He also described the war as a Saudi "aggression."
There also cited other reasons adding to Saudi's decision that went on cut diplomatic and business ties with Lebanon, including inaction from Lebanon's side in stopping the export of drugs through Lebanese exports into the Kingdom, particularly from ports which are under the Hezbollah's control despite Saudi's repeated demands.
The Saudi Press report also said that Beirut's failure to impose penalties on those involved in these crimes targeting the people of Saudi Arabia and the lack of cooperation in extraditing wanted people to the Kingdom in contravention of the Riyadh Arab Agreement for Judicial Cooperation was another reason for the decision.
The Kingdom regrets the outcome of relations with Lebanon due to authorities in Beirut ignoring the facts and their continued failure to take corrective measures to ensure good relations with the Kingdom, SPA added.