Information Minister George Kordahi, whose comments on Yemen sparked a row with Gulf countries, said he would resign to "give Lebanon a chance".

George Kordahi had said the war in Yemen was futile and called it an aggression by the Saudi-led coalition.
George Kordahi had said the war in Yemen was futile and called it an aggression by the Saudi-led coalition. (Reuters)

Lebanon’s information minister is expected to announce his resignation on Friday, in a bid to ease an unprecedented diplomatic crisis with Saudi Arabia and other Gulf countries.

Local media reported that George Kordahi intends to step down, weeks after televised comments he made that were critical of Saudi Arabia's war in Yemen sparked the crisis.

On Friday, Kordahi told the MTV local TV station his resignation was to “open the door” for easing the crisis. “I said from day one if my resignation helps I am ready for it,” he said.

Lebanon is sinking deeper into an economic crisis, the worst in its modern history. 

The country’s financial meltdown, coupled with multiple other crises, has plunged more than three quarters of the nation’s population of 6 million, including a million Syrian refugees, into poverty.

The standoff has paralysed the government, which has been unable to convene since October 12 amid reports that ministers allied with Hezbollah would resign if Kordahi goes.

READ MORE: What’s behind the Saudi-Lebanon diplomatic rift?

Economic challenges

In response to Kordahi's remarks, Saudi Arabia recalled its ambassador and banned all Lebanese imports, affecting hundreds of businesses and cutting off hundreds of millions in foreign currency to Lebanon, which is already facing a major economic meltdown. 

Kordahi had refused to resign over the comments made before he assumed his Cabinet post, prolonging the crisis.

Kordahi had said the war in Yemen was futile and called it an aggression by the Saudi-led coalition.

Yemen’s war began with the 2014 takeover of Sanaa by the Houthi rebels, who control much of the country’s north.

The Saudi-led coalition entered the war the following year, determined to restore the internationally recognised government and oust the rebels.

The Saudi measures have caused anxiety particularly among the many Lebanese who work in Gulf countries, and added to the country's economic woes. 

It is not clear whether Kordahi’s resignation Friday would placate Saudi Arabia enough to reverse the decisions or whether it would open the door for Cabinet meetings to resume.

READ MORE: Saudi Arabia orders Lebanese ambassador to leave kingdom within 48 hours

Source: TRTWorld and agencies