Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Bahrain took measures relating to Lebanon yesterday, a day after the Lebanese government held a meeting that did not live up to Gulf expectations after Saudi Arabia and the Gulf decided “to conduct a review” of relations with Lebanon in light of its recent positions that are not in line with “Arab unity”.
Saudi Arabia yesterday called for all of its citizens to refrain from travelling to Lebanon as a security measure. It also requested that Saudi citizens who live in Lebanon or are visiting it should leave unless staying is absolutely necessary. Bahrain has also taken a similar stance and the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced that it has raised its warning level from advising against travel to Lebanon to prohibiting it. It also decided to reduce its diplomatic presence in Beirut to a minimum.
Meanwhile, common and political Lebanese delegations headed to the Saudi embassy in Beirut to express solidarity with the kingdom in the face of Hezbollah’s campaign against it.
On the other hand, Lebanese government sources told Asharq Al-Awsat that “preparations are underway to send a government delegation headed by Prime Minister Tamman Salam to undertake a tour of the Gulf countries to clarify the official Lebanese point of view and try to mend the rift”. The sources also said that “currently there are open communication channels with these countries to determine whether the tour should be undertaken and how the subject should be dealt with so that members of the government delegation can be selected thereafter”.