Lebanon's Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri (R) meets with Saudi Arabia's Arab Gulf Affairs Minister Thamer al-Sabhan in Beirut, Lebanon February 6, 2017. Dalati Nohra/Handout via Reuters
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Saudi Arabia Sunday upped the ante in its blistering campaign against Hezbollah by calling on the Lebanese government to take action to curb the Iranian-backed party.The remarks by Saudi Minister of State for Arab Gulf Affairs Thamer al-Sabhan, who in the past few weeks has labeled Hezbollah the "party of Satan" and a "terrorist militia," are bound to embarrass Prime Minister Saad Hariri's government, which includes representatives of Hezbollah and its allies.However, Sabhan for the first time Sunday directly criticized the Lebanese government's "silence" on what he called Hezbollah's "war" against Saudi Arabia.Sabhan's fresh diatribe against Hezbollah came on the same day Hezbollah MP Nawaf Musawi lashed out at Saudi Arabia, accusing it of financing media campaigns to vilify the party in the lead up to next year's parliamentary elections.The Saudi minister has previously called for an international military coalition to be formed to combat Hezbollah in order to achieve regional security and peace.The U.S. has long labeled Hezbollah a "terrorist organization".Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah has frequently accused Saudi Arabia of destabilizing the region, supporting Daesh (ISIS) and preventing a peaceful solution to the 6-year-old war in Syria.
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