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Gulf Countries Leave Lebanon Amid Security Concerns

Gulf Countries Leave Lebanon Amid Security Concerns

Friday, 10 November, 2017 - 06:15
Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri, who resigned last week in a televised speech from the Saudi capital, Riyadh, stares out from a poster on the side of a road in Tripoli, Lebanon. Ibrahim Chalhoub/ AFP

Gulf countries escalated on Thursday their measures against Lebanon with regard to Prime Minister Saad Hariri’s resignation in protest at “Iran and Hezbollah’s interferences in the performance of his government.”

Saudi Arabia joined Kuwait, the UAE and Bahrain in calling its citizens to leave Lebanon due to the current situation that followed Hariri’s resignation.

A Lebanese high-ranking security official had also warned from the repercussions of the prime minister’s decision on the internal security situation.

The Saudi Press Agency quoted on Thursday an official source at the Foreign Affairs Ministry as saying that due to the situations in Lebanon, Saudi nationals visiting or residing in Lebanon are asked to leave the country as soon as possible.

The Kingdom also advised all citizens not to travel to Lebanon from any other international destinations, according to the same source.

Kuwaiti citizens currently in Lebanon were also urged to leave the country immediately, a foreign ministry statement said on Thursday according to KUNA.

Also on Thursday, Saudi Gulf Affairs Minister Thamer al-Sabhan wrote on his Twitter account: “All measures taken are being done successively with continuous and strict escalation until the status quo is restored.”

In Beirut, President Michel Aoun and the “March 8” coalition, which includes Hezbollah and its allies, continued to behave normally as if the resignation had not happened, demanding the return of Hariri, who had spoken in his resignation letter about having faced security threats and assassinations attempts.

General Security Chief Abbas Ibrahim expressed his concern that the internal situation in Lebanon could move towards more worrying and intertwined complications, in line with the latest regional developments and the continued Israeli violations.

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