The Lebanese minister whose remarks on the Saudi intervention in Yemen’s war sparked a row with Gulf countries that exacerbated Lebanon’s multiple crises resigned Friday in hopes it would help end the standoff. Georges Kordahi, speaking during a press conference, said he hoped this decision “could open a window… towards improved bilateral ties” with Saudi Arabia and its Gulf allies. “The timing is right because I am offering something that could provide Lebanon with an exit” from the crisis, the former information minister said. Kordahi’s resignation has been on the table for weeks and is expected to help end a political and diplomatic quandary that has crippled Lebanon’s fledgling cabinet since October. His announcement coincided with a visit to the Gulf by French President Emmanuel Macron, who has spearheaded international efforts to help Lebanon out of its worst ever economic downturn. Kordahi said the resignation, which he had initially ruled out, became inevitable earlier this week when he met Prime Minister Najib Mikati. “I understood from Prime Minister Najib Mikati… that the French want my resignation before Macron’s visit to Riyadh because it could maybe help them start a dialogue with Saudi officials over Lebanon and the future of bilateral ties,” Kordahi told reporters. “Because I am keen to take advantage of this promising opportunity that Macron has… I have decided to step down from my ministerial post.” Macron who arrived in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) on Thursday and was also due to visit Qatar and Saudi Arabia welcomed Kordahi’s announcement as a step towards revitalizing Mikati’s cabinet. “I remain cautious, but my wish is… to be able to re-engage all the Gulf countries in their relationship with Lebanon,” both politically and economically, Macron told reporters in Dubai on Friday. “We are not at the end of the road yet but I hope that the next hours will see us move forward,” he added. Kordahi criticised the Saudi-led military intervention in Yemen during an interview which was recorded before he became minister but was aired on Lebanese TV after he joined the cabinet. His comments angered Saudi Arabia as well as Kuwait, Bahrain and the UAE, which responded by recalling their ambassadors from Beirut. Saudi Arabia also blocked imports and Kuwait said it would limit visas issued to Lebanese, prompting fears that a Gulf backlash could endanger the interests of millions of expatriates living in Arab states of the oil-rich Gulf. The standoff marked a fresh blow for Lebanon, whose government was only formed in September after a 13-month deadlock. After Kordahi’s announcement, Mikati called the resignation a “necessary” move.