Lebanon's Jumblatt slams Saudi Arabia over Yemen war
The main leader of Lebanon's Druze population Walid Jumblatt on Saturday criticised Saudi Arabia's devastating war in Yemen, calling on the Kingdom to enter dialogue with Iran.
Lebanon was thrust onto the frontline of a regional power struggle this month between Saudi Arabia and Iran after Prime Minister Saad Hariri announced his shock resignation from Riyadh on 4 November.
After quitting he spent two weeks holed up in Riyadh, prompting accusations from political rivals and the Lebanese public that he was being detained by the Saudis.
"Enough of the destruction and siege in Yemen and enough of the human and material drain on the Kingdom's people and resources," Jumblatt wrote on Twitter.
"Let the Yemeni people choose who it wants and you, Your Excellency the Prince, be the judge, the reformer, and the big brother as your ancestors were," he added, addressing Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
The veteran Druze leader also urged Saudi Arabia to enter dialogue with Iran, noting that it will be difficult to end the war in Yemen without discussions with Tehran.
"A settlement at minimum with the Islamic Republic (of Iran) gives us in Lebanon more strength and determination to cooperate to enforce the policy of disassociation," Jumblatt wrote in a Tweet on Saturday.
'Disassociation' is widely understood in Lebanon to mean its policy of staying out of regional conflicts.
Jumblatt added that Saudi Arabia's ambitious modernisation plans would not be successful while the war in Yemen continues.
On Friday, the Druze leader criticised the way Hariri had been treated by "some Saudi circles", the first time he appeared to direct blame at Riyadh over Hariri's resignation this month.
He also condemned what he called Iranian "dictates" in an apparent response to a statement by the commander of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards, who said disarming Hizballah was out of the question.
Saudi Arabia and its allies intervened in neighbouring Yemen in March 2015 to push back the rebels who control the capital Sana'a, in an attempt to restore the government of Abd Rabbo Mansour Hadi to power.
The UN has listed Yemen as the world's number one humanitarian crisis, with 17 million people in need of food, seven million of whom are at risk of famine.
Since 2014, the war in Yemen has killed at least 10,000 civilians.