Al-Wefaq is a Shiite opposition group banned in Bahrain for allegedly undermining the state and spreading bigotry.
Beirut, Lebanon – Lebanese Interior Minister Bassam Mawlawi ordered the expulsion of non-Lebanese members of the Bahraini Shiite opposition group Al-Wefaq, banned in Bahrain since 2016.
On Wednesday, Mawlawi, during a call with his Bahraini counterpart Rashid bin Abdullah Al Khalifa, refused to allow Lebanon to be used as a “platform to spread hatred or hostility” towards Gulf countries and Arab countries.
On Friday, the banned political group held a press conference south of the Lebanese capital, which Bahrain denounced.
The Bahraini Foreign Ministry issued a statement condemning Lebanon for harboring “hostile units classified as supporting and sponsoring terrorism, with the aim of promoting abusive and malicious allegations against the Kingdom of Bahrain.”
Al-Wefaq was banned in Bahrain in 2016 when the justice ministry accused him of undermining the state, spreading bigotry and being linked to “terrorist activities”.
In 2017, the party’s secretary general, Ali Salman, was charged with “colluding with Qatar to carry out” acts of hostility “to Bahrain and undermine its prestige”.
Tensions with the Gulf countries
Since October of this year, Lebanon has been embroiled in a diplomatic dispute with Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates.
Videos of an interview Lebanese Information Minister George Kordahi gave a month before his appointment began surfacing online, in which he said Iran-aligned Houthis “are defending themselves â¦ Against external aggression âin Yemen.
Kordahi also said the long-running conflict was “futile” and called for an end.
Several Gulf countries reacted quickly to Kordahi’s comments. Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait and Bahrain recalled their envoys from Beirut, as did Yemen, and banned the Lebanese ambassadors.
Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates have also called on their citizens to leave Lebanon.
Saudi Arabia, meanwhile, has banned all Lebanese imports into the kingdom, further stepping up the indefinite ban on all Lebanese agricultural products and products imposed in April after foiling an attempt to smuggle 5.3 million tablets. captagon of illegal amphetamines that had been hidden in a shipment of grenades at the port of Jeddah.
Kordahi resigned earlier this month as a precondition for French President Emmanuel Macron to discuss restoring ties with Lebanon during his visit to Saudi Arabia.