The Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Doha has called on all Qatari citizens not to travel to Lebanon.
In a statement yesterday, the ministry urged the citizens who are in Lebanon to leave for their own safety and contact the Qatari embassy in Beirut to provide them with the necessary facilities and assistance.Earlier yesterday, in a statement cited by the official Kuna news agency, the Kuwaiti embassy in Beirut also advised Kuwaitis to postpone any planned travel to Lebanon.
The mission said all citizens should leave “except in extreme circumstances”, and advised those who stay to exercise caution and avoid unspecified, unsafe areas.
Qatar and Kuwait join Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain in issuing travel warnings for Lebanon.
Riyadh has also halted a $4bn military and police funding programme for Beirut in response to what it said were “hostile” positions linked to Hezbollah.
Riyadh’s ambassador in Lebanon, Ali Awad Assiri, said yesterday that Lebanon must apologise for failing to join other Arab nations in condemning attacks on Saudi diplomatic missions in Iran last month.
“This has upset the kingdom and (Lebanon) has to repair the error with wisdom and courage,” Assiri told AFP.
The attacks on Saudi missions in Iran, which followed the kingdom’s execution of a terrorist convict, prompted Riyadh to cut
diplomatic ties with Tehran. Syria’s war has exacerbated political rivalries within Lebanon, which has been without a president for almost two years because of fierce disagreements between Hezbollah and its rivals. Meanwhile, the spokesman of Yemen’s internationally-recognised government has accused Hezbollah of training Shia Houthi rebels and orchestrating attacks on Saudi Arabia from Yemen.
The government has evidence of “Hezbollah’s involvement in the Houthi war on the Yemeni people,” Rajih Badi said in a statement to the official sabanew.net agency.
Hezbollah militants are present in “the battlefields along the border with Saudi Arabia”, said Badi, urging “international legal measures” against the movement.