SAUDI ARABIA. The Saudi foreign ministry issued on Saturday a travel restriction advisory to Lebanon, the official SPA news agency said.
“Due to the unstable security situation in Lebanon, the foreign ministry warns its citizens against traveling to Lebanon to maintain their safety, until further notice,” an unidentified high-ranking official in the ministry told the news agency.
Saudi ambassador to Lebanon Ali Awadh Asiri told the National News Agency that the travel warning to Lebanon is due to the recent security incidents including the burning of tires and blocking of roads.
“The kingdom is keen on not jeopardizing the safety of its citizens,” Asiri told the news agency.
He urged the political forces in Lebanon to exert efforts to preserve stability and security in the country.
Asked how the Saudi authorities’ decision would affect the Lebanese tourism season, Asiri said that “the intention behind this decision isn’t to harm Lebanon, but the safety of the Saudis is a priority for the Saudi leadership.”
The warning coincides with the tourist season in Lebanon, a major summer destination for nationals from the oil-rich Gulf region.
Lebanon has recently witnessed a series of incidents across the country and along the Lebanese-Syrian border.
In May, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Bahrain and Kuwait advised their citizens to avoid travel to Lebanon and urged their nationals currently present in the country to leave due to the unstable security situation.