Saudi Arabia on Thursday urged its citizens to leave Lebanon “immediately” and to avoid traveling to the country. “The kingdom advised all citizens not to travel to Lebanon from any other international destinations,” said the statement reported by Al-Arabiya.
Hours later, Kuwait’s Foreign Ministry ordered its nationals to leave Lebanon immediately.
Bahrain, an ally of Saudi in the Gulf, also issued a travel warning.
Bahrain acting in concert with Saudi Arabia is a reminder that both countries, along with the United Arab Emirates and Egypt, broke relations with Qatar and expelled Qatari citizens in June. The calls for citizens to leave the Land of the Cedars comes amid a war of words between Saudi Arabia and Iran and its proxy Hezbollah, and in the wake of the resignation of Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri on Saturday.
Hariri has been mum since then, and only seen rarely, leading to rumors he was under house arrest in Saudi Arabia, where he was born and now appears to be staying after his sudden resignation. However, according to Hariri’s own Future Movement party in a tweet yesterday, Hariri has met with the French, US, EU and UK ambassadors to Saudi Arabia.
The recent brewing conflict between Riyadh and Beirut concerns the role of Hezbollah in Lebanese politics…
This month’s crisis is different because Saudi officials such as Thamer al-Sabhan, the minister for Gulf affairs, warned that Lebanon would “be dealt with as a government declaring war on Saudi Arabia.”