Saudi Arabia has advised their citizens to leave Lebanon immediately. In a statement published on Saudi news agency SPA, Saudi Arabia advised their citizens not to travel Lebanon from any other destinations.
Following the Saudi move, the United Arab Emirates and Kuwait also advised their citizens not to travel Lebanon and leave the country as soon as possible.
The SPA statement reads, “Due to the situations in the Republic of Lebanon, the official source at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated that the Saudi nationals visiting or residing in Lebanon are asked to leave the country as soon as possible.
“The Kingdom advised all citizens not to travel to Lebanon from any other international destinations.”
The other Saudi ally Bahrain already ordered their citizens to leave Lebanon for safety considerations.
Lebanon has encountered an awkward political deadlock after Prime Minister Hariri announced his resignation from Riyadh fearing for his life.
The Lebanese Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri resigned in fear for his life in a televised broadcast. He accused Iran of destruction and breeding fear in some countries of Middle East including Lebanon.
He said in his resignation speech, “I refer, frankly and unequivocally, to Iran, which plants sedition, devastation and ruin, which is attested to by its interference in the internal affairs of the Arab nation, in Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Bahrain and Yemen – driven by a deep hatred of the Arab nation and an overwhelming desire to destroy and control it.”
The sudden resignation of PM Hariri left Lebanon in on edge a potential political deadlock. The Lebanese officials demanded they dear Hariri may be under house arrest in Saudi Arabia given the officials couldn’t communicate with him.
The political party he chairs, Future Movement party of Lebanon demanded PM Hariri to immediately return from Saudi Arabia.
It said in a statement, “The return of the Lebanese prime minister, the national leader, Saad al-Hariri, and the head of the Future Movement, is necessary to restore the dignity and respect to Lebanon at home and abroad.”
The Lebanese President Michel Aoun is supposed to call for assistance from the international community to make sure his Prime Minister gets back to Lebanon, Al Jazeera reported.
The political tension in the Middle East has been fueling in the last few days. In Saudi Arabia, right after the resignation Hariri, the crown prince Bin Salman launched a massive crackdown on the Saudi business leadership including 11 powerful princes.
The Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, to consolidate his grip on power, arrested the influential Saudi Princes including multi-billionaire Prince Bin Talal in a so-called anti-corruption purge.
In the same day, the Houthis of Yemen fired a ballistic missile towards Saudi Arabia that hit the outskirt of Riyadh.
The Saudi Arabia demanded in a statement published on the Saudi news agency SPA they have evidence that Iran was behind the ballistic missile strike that hit the outskirt of Riyadh.
“The Coalition’s Command considers this a blatant act of military aggression by the Iranian regime, and could rise to be considered as an act of war against the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and thus affirms the legitimate right of the Kingdom to defend its territory and people in accordance with Article (51) of the U.N. Charter,” Saudi statement on SPA reads.
All these escalations developed so fast has put the Middle East on the edge of a new crisis. The Middle East experts warn of a potential war between the belligerent agents including Iran and Saudi Arabia escalating the already fueled Middle Eastern political deadlock to a new gravity.