Qatar and Kuwait have joined other Gulf States in asking their citizens to leave Lebanon immediately.
Qatar’s state-run news agency QNA reports :
Qatari Ministry of Foreign Affairs has called for all Qatari citizens not to travel to Lebanon. In a statement today the Ministry requested Qatari citizens who are there to leave for their own safety, and contact to the Qatari embassy in Beirut to provide them with the necessary facilities and assistance.
The Kuwait embassy also urged its citizens to take precautions during their travels and to avoid unsafe locations, a press statement that was released to the state-run news agency KUNA said.
It also advised nationals to contact the embassy in order to make the necessary arrangements to “keep them safe and sound.”
The embassy also warned Kuwaitis intending to travel to Lebanon, asking them to re-consider their plans.
Earlier : UAE, KSA, Bahrain issue travel bans
The news comes a day after Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain urged their citizens to leave Lebanon or avoid travelling there.
The Saudi foreign ministry issued a statement calling on “all citizens not to travel to Lebanon, for their safety, and asking citizens residing in Lebanon or visiting not to stay unless extremely necessary”.
The UAE also banned its citizens from travelling to Lebanon and reduced its diplomatic presence in Beirut.
The UAE’s official news agency WAM said its foreign ministry “raises the travel warning (already in place) against Lebanon to ban travelers starting Tuesday.”
“The foreign ministry also decided to reduce the number of members of its diplomatic mission in Beirut to a minimum,” it added.
Bahrain’s BNA said its ministry requested citizens not travel to Lebanon, and for those inside the country “to evacuate immediately” and “exercise extreme caution until departure.”
Move after KSA cuts $4billion aid to Lebanon
The travel warnings came days after Saudi Arabia unexpectedly cancelled the US$4 billion aid to Lebanon’s army and police forces on Friday.
Announcing the aid halt on Friday, an official said the kingdom had noticed “hostile Lebanese positions resulting from the stranglehold of Hezbollah on the state”.
The kingdom has criticised the Lebanese foreign minister’s refusal to endorse Arab League and Organisation of Islamic Cooperation statements condemning mob attacks on Saudi diplomatic missions in Iran in January. The attacks followed Saudi Arabia’s execution of a prominent Shiite cleric convicted of terrorism charges.
In 2012 and 2013, Saudi Arabia and other Arabian Gulf states had asked their citizens to avoid Lebanon . Those travel warnings came at a time when Lebanon was greatly destabilised by Syria’s war, facing bombings, frequent bouts of sectarian fighting and specific kidnapping risks against Gulf nationals.
With Lebanon comparatively stable since late 2014, the latest travel advisories come amid growing tensions between GCC countries and members of Lebanon’s divided government.
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