BEIRUT: Saudi Arabia Tuesday issued a travel warning against Lebanon, while the United Arab Emirates banned its citizens from entering the country altogether and drastically reduced its diplomatic presence in Beirut.
The surprise moves will likely be viewed as an escalation in Lebanese-Gulf ties following Riyadh’s decision to suspend a massive aid package last week citing a political dispute.
Saudi Arabia’s foreign ministry cited safety concerns over its travel warning, whereas the UAE did not provide a reason.
“The ministry asks all citizens not to travel to Lebanon for their own safety, and asks (Saudi) residents of Lebanon or visitors to leave, and not to remain there unless absolutely necessary,” the kingdom’s official SPA news agency said.
The UAE’s official news agency WAM said its foreign ministry “raises the travel warning (already in place) against Lebanon to ban travelers starting Tuesday.”
“The foreign ministry also decided to reduce the number of members of its diplomatic mission in Beirut to a minimum,” it added.
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