Lebanon
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Lebanese Information Minister George Kordahi is expected to announce his resignation on Friday, after his comments resulted in a diplomatic spat between Lebanon and Saudi Arabia, sources said on Thursday, according to Reuters.

The sources said Kordahi's resignation aimed to open the door for negotiations by French President Emmanuel Macron to resolve the dispute during a planned visit to Saudi Arabia this weekend.

Critical comments by Kordahi on the Saudi-led war in Yemen led Saudi Arabia in late October to expel Lebanon's envoy to the kingdom, recall its ambassador and ban all imports from Lebanon.

Other Gulf states, including the United Arab Emirates and Kuwait, followed Saudi Arabia and took similar punitive diplomatic measures against Lebanon.

Saudi Arabia's Foreign Minister later said that dealing with Beirut was "pointless" due to Iran-backed Hezbollah's dominance in the country.

Hezbollah and the Houthi rebels in Yemen are both backed by Iran, which is Saudi Arabia’s regional rival.

Saudi Arabia has repeatedly called on Iran to stop its “meddling” in the affairs of the kingdom's neighbors. Iran has fired back, accusing Saudi Arabia of trying to “drag the entire region into confrontation”.

However, the two countries have been engaged in talks since April with the aim of improving relations, for the first time since cutting ties in 2016. The talks have been described as being on the right track.

The Saudi decision to expel the Lebanese ambassador also came several days after the kingdom classified the Lebanon-based Al-Qard Al-Hassan association as a terrorist entity, citing links to activities supporting Hezbollah.

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