Saudi Arabia Warns Citizens to Leave Lebanon Immediately

Beirut international airport in Lebanon
Beirut Rafic Hariri International Airport. Photo: Government of Lebanon

Saudi Arabia issued a travel warning on Thursday urging its nationals to leave Lebanon immediately.

The warning also told Saudi nationals not to travel to Lebanon.

Kuwait News Agency reported that Kuwait has also urged its citizens to leave Lebanon. Bahrain has also advised its citizens in Lebanon to “exercise caution” and leave immediately amid the political uncertainty in the country.

Last week, Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri unexpectedly traveled to Riyadh and announced there that he was resigning, saying there were threats to his life.

Following rumors that he was under house arrest in Saudi Arabia, Mr. Hariri traveled to Abu Dhabi on Tuesday but returned to Riyadh later.

Al Akhbar newspaper, which has ties to Hezbollah, has alleged Mr. Hariri is a hostage in Saudi Arabia, where he holds citizenship.

Earlier on Thursday, Lebanese government officials told Reuters new agency that Mr. Hariri is being “held” in Riyadh and Beirut is attempting to work with foreign states to secure his return. The officials further claimed that the former prime ministry is under house arrest, and that Saudi officials are controlling his movements.

French President Emmanuel Macron announced he would make an unexpected visit to Saudi Arabia to discuss the situation in Yemen and Iran with Saudi officials. During a conference in Dubai, Mr. Macron said the talks would include the developments in Lebanon.

Lebanese President Michel Aoun has said he will wait for Mr. Hariri to return to the country before deciding whether to accept his resignation.