The diplomatic rift, which threatens to plunge Lebanon deeper into meltdown, prompted Saudi Arabia and some of its allies to recall ambassadors and block imports from Lebanon.

Arab League's assistant secretary general Hossam Zaki, said Information Minister George Kordahi's departure could be a starting point for
Arab League's assistant secretary general Hossam Zaki, said Information Minister George Kordahi's departure could be a starting point for "detente" between Lebanon and Gulf states. (Reuters)

The Arab League on Monday backed the resignation of Lebanon's information minister, whose comments criticising Saudi-led intervention in Yemen sparked a damaging diplomatic row with several Gulf countries.

"From the very beginning, the resignation could have defused the crisis," the League's assistant secretary general, Hossam Zaki told a news conference in Beirut. He also met Prime Minister Najib Mikati and President Michal Aoun.

"We need stronger confirmation that this step could still happen," he said following talks with parliament speaker Nabih Berri.

Zaki said Information Minister George Kordahi's departure could be a starting point for "detente" between Lebanon and Gulf states, but resolving the crisis but the problem between the countries was "not simple".

Import restrictions are a further blow to a country where a weak government is struggling to secure international aid, namely from wealthy Arab neighbours.

READ MORE: Arab League seeks to ease Saudi-Lebanon diplomatic rift

Hezbollah boycotts the government meetings

Lebanon's Hezbollah group has spurned an Arab League suggestion that ministers affiliated with it and the Shia Amal Movement return to government meetings.

Zaki had suggested that Hezbollah return, local media reported on Monday. 

Hezbollah is part of the Lebanese government but has been boycotting meetings in a dispute over the judge in the investigation into last year's Beirut port explosion.

Kordahi is an ally of the powerful Shia movement Hezbollah, which is backed by Riyadh's arch-rival Iran.

The dispute was triggered by comments made by Kordahi in an interview in August where he characterised the Saudi-led intervention in Yemen since 2015 as an "external aggression." 

Hezbollah has opposed calls for Kordahi's resignation, saying he did nothing wrong. 

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

Source: TRTWorld and agencies