Saudi envoy: Hezbollah poses a threat to Arab security

AFP

2 min read
Masked Shi'ite fighters from Hezbollah and Amal movements walk with Kalashnikov assault rifles amidst clashes in the area of ​​Tayouneh, in the south Beirut, Lebanon, on October 14, 2021.
IBRAHIM AMRO / AFPMasked Shi'ite fighters from Hezbollah and Amal movements walk with Kalashnikov assault rifles amidst clashes in the area of ​​Tayouneh, in the south Beirut, Lebanon, on October 14, 2021.

Bukhari says 'Hezbollah's terrorist activities and regional military behavior threaten Arab national security'

Saudi Arabia's ambassador to Beirut said Thursday that Hezbollah is a threat to Arab security after the leader of the Iran-backed Lebanese movement branded King Salman a "terrorist."

The latest exchange of insults follows a crisis between Lebanon and Gulf Arab states over the war in Yemen, and Saudi accusations that Hezbollah was meddling in the conflict.

"Riyadh hopes that the political parties will give priority to the supreme interest of Lebanon... and end Hezbollah's terrorist hegemony over every aspect of the state," the ambassador, Waleed Bukhari, said in a statement to AFP.

"Hezbollah's terrorist activities and regional military behavior threaten Arab national security," he added.

Bukhari's statement comes after Hassan Nasrallah, leader of the Shiite movement, described King Salman as a "terrorist" and accused Saudi Arabia of exporting Islamic extremism in a televised speech earlier this week.

Last month, Hezbollah dismissed Riyadh's claims it was aiding attacks by Yemen's Houthi rebels.

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In late October, Riyadh suspended diplomatic ties with Lebanon after the airing of statements by the then-Lebanese information minister criticizing the military intervention in Yemen.

Saudi Arabia's foreign minister later said that Hezbollah's dominance in Lebanon, and not just the minister's comments, prompted the Sunni kingdom to cut ties.

Since the coalition's intervention in Yemen, Saudi Arabia regularly accused Iran of supplying the Houthis with weapons and Hezbollah of training the insurgents. 

Tehran denies the charges, and Hezbollah previously denied sending fighters or weapons to Yemen.