Saudi Arabia Urges Citizens to Avoid Visiting Lebanon

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Saudi Arabia has urged its citizens not to visit Lebanon, and asked those already there to leave, a source in the Saudi Foreign Ministry said on Tuesday.

Panorama of Riyadh, the Saudi Arabian capital - Sputnik International
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CAIRO (Sputnik) — In early January, a diplomatic row erupted in the Middle East, with Sunni-ruled Saudi Arabia severing diplomatic ties with the region’s main Shiite power, Iran,, triggered by Riyadh's execution of prominent Shiite cleric Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr.

Bahrain, Sudan, Somalia, Comoros and Djibouti in solidarity with Riyadh also severed relations with Iran, Kuwait and Qatar decided to pull out their ambassadors to Iran while the United Arab Emirates downgraded level of diplomatic relations with Tehran.

"The ministry advises all citizens not to travel to Lebanon and demands that all citizens residing or visiting Lebanon to leave the country, not to stay there unless necessary, take care and caution while being there and contact the Saudi embassy in Beirut to provide the necessary facilities and care for their safety," the source was quoted by the official SPA news service as saying.

Earlier this month, Saudi Arabia announced plans to discontinue $4-billion military aid, on $3 billion of which the Lebanese army was due to purchase weapons from France, and an additional $1 billion due to go to the Internal Security Forces.

This came shortly after Lebanese foreign minister Gebran Bassil refused to support the Arab League's resolution condemning Iran and Lebanon’s Shiite Hezbollah movement backed by Tehran.

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