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memri
Nov 08, 2021
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Lebanese Druze Leader Walid Jumblatt: Saudi Arabia Has The Right To Respond To Insults Against It; The Saudis Need Not Apologize to Lebanon – We Should Apologize To Them; Kurdahi Should Resign

#9172 | 02:30
Source: Russia Today TV (Russia)

Lebanese Druze leader Walid Jumblatt said in a November 10, 2021 interview on Russia Today TV that despite what has been said by a senior Hizbullah official, Saudi Arabia does not need to apologize to Lebanon for expelling the Lebanese ambassador in light of Lebanese Information Minister George Kurdahi's recent expression of support for the Houthi rebels in Yemen. Rather, he said that Lebanon should apologize to Saudi Arabia. Jumblatt said that Kurdahi's resignation would be a step towards repairing Lebanon’s relations with Saudi Arabia (for more information, see MEMRI TV clip 9152). In addition, Jumblatt said that Saudi Arabia has the right to “respond to insults” against it, and that Hizbullah doesn't care about Lebanon’s long-standing relations with Saudi Arabia. Later in the interview, Jumblatt spoke about Lebanon’s maritime borders and said that through the United Nations, Lebanon had previously reached an agreement with Israel that would allow Lebanon to extract oil and gas, but that President Michel Auon demanded a larger maritime zone and has taken Lebanon "back to square one."

Walid Jumblatt: "A senior Hizbullah official declared that Saudi Arabia should apologize to Lebanon. This is an irresponsible and destructive statement. If Kurdahi resigns, it would be a step towards mending the relations. We should be the ones to apologize, not them.

[...]

"For over 70 years we have had relations with Saudi Arabia and the Gulf. We have a presence there. We live there. Along comes a political party [Hizbullah] that does not care about this... Maybe more than one political party – the Marada movement, and others... In any case, Hizbullah does not care about this. Can Hizbullah give the Lebanese what Saudi Arabia is giving? Are we supposed to leave Saudi Arabia and move to Iraq, with its drones? Are we supposed to live in Iran? No. Absolutely not.

[...]

"When such insults are hurled at Saudi Arabia by the Resistance Axis, Saudi Arabia has the right to respond this way, unfortunately.

[...]

"We negotiated [with Israel] via the U.N. over the maritime zone that belongs to Lebanon so that we would be able to extract oil and gas.

[...]

"But along came [President] Michel Aoun and demanded a larger zone. We tried to play tricks with the international law. Our share in that area was 870 square kilometers. Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri fought for this. You cannot say that Speaker Berri does not abide by principles. He negotiated for 10 years in order to reach that agreement, but this bravado brought everything to a halt. We are back to square one and Lebanon cannot extract its oil or gas."

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