Bahrain says it will restore full diplomatic relations with Lebanon following a row over the Saudi-led military intervention in Yemen that saw the countries break ties for a year and a half.
Manama said on Saturday it was bringing an end to the impasse, a move welcomed by Beirut.
In October 2021, Bahrain and other Gulf countries, following Saudi Arabia’s lead, recalled their diplomats from Lebanon.
This action was prompted by the then-information minister, George Kordahi. He has quoted criticizing the Saudi role in the war in Yemen. The war has resulted in what the United Nations describes as the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.
Kordahi said in an interview, which he gave a month before his appointment. But it later surfaced online, that the Iran-aligned Houthis were “defending themselves … against an external aggression” in Yemen. He also said the long-running conflict was “futile” and called for it to end.
In response, Riyadh recalled its ambassador and ordered Lebanon’s envoy to leave the kingdom. Its Gulf allies – the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait and Bahrain – followed suit, expelling Lebanon’s envoys.
In 2017, Bahrain, along with Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Egypt, severed ties and imposed a blockade on Qatar over claims. It was too close to Iran and backed hardline groups, allegations Doha has always firmly denied.