| 14 April 2024, Sunday |

Baabda meeting calls on Saudi Arabia to reconsider its decision vis a vis Banning Lebanese exports.

The President of the Republic, Michel Aoun, considered that smuggling of all kinds, from drugs to fuel to other materials, harms Lebanon and costs it dearly, and he believed that what happened recently of smuggling to the Saudi Arabian Kingdom confirms this.

At the outset of the meeting he called for,  to discuss the circumstances of the Saudi decision to prevent the entry of Lebanese fruits and vegetables and address its repercussions, he stressed that Lebanon is keen not to endanger the safety of any country, especially the Arab countries and their citizens, to any danger.

Aoun asked those concerned about the reasons for the delay in purchasing “scanners” in order to be installed at the crossings despite the decision taken since July 2020 and the issuance of a decree to that effect, calling for the completion of the purchase process as soon as possible.

The President of the Republic also called on the security services to be strict in combating smuggling operations and those behind them.

For his part, Caretaker Prime Minister Hassan Diab affirmed that the Lebanese state and the Lebanese do not accept any harm to the Saudis, saying: “We are keen on the best relations with Saudi Arabia. And we certainly are with the Kingdom in fighting the smuggling networks, with its  Lebanese and Saudi branches, and the  strings extended in many countries, and with the prosecution of those involved.

Diab added , “We are confident that Saudi Arabia and all the Gulf states know well that stopping importing Lebanese crops does not prevent drug smuggling that uses different routes, and that cooperation between us helps control these networks.”

Finally, the attendees wished from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to reconsider the decision to prevent Lebanese agricultural products from entering Saudi Arabia or crossing its lands, and the meeting stressed that Lebanon was and will remain a brother who is keen on the safety of its Arab brothers