The Saudi warning issued at midnight on Friday – Saturday for its citizens in Lebanon to leave the country was followed by a Kuwaiti statement at dawn on Saturday, urging Kuwaiti citizens in Lebanon to exercise caution. This indicates that there is a concerning situation.
The Saudi embassy in Beirut warned Saudi citizens against being present in or approaching areas experiencing armed conflicts and urged them to leave Lebanese territory promptly.
A few hours later, the Kuwaiti embassy in Lebanon advised Kuwaiti citizens in the country to be cautious and avoid locations with security disturbances in certain areas while adhering to the instructions issued by local authorities without requesting their departure.
There has been a ban on Saudis traveling to Lebanon for a while, which is periodically reminded. However, very few Saudi nationals who own properties in Lebanon visit the country, either with special permission or without informing the authorities in their country.
As for Kuwait, it is reported that some MPs have been pressuring the government to issue the warning.
Sources told LBCI that there had been communications between the Lebanese Prime Minister’s office and the Foreign and Interior Ministries with Saudi officials, and the response was that the warning was purely local.
“We already have a travel ban in place, but many Saudis violate it and are present in Lebanon. Our decision is related to the clashes in Ain al-Hilweh camp, as we fear it might extend beyond the camp,” a Saudi source said to LBCI.
The source added that a Lebanese party is involved in these events to engage the army and security forces, and it has other internal Lebanese objectives.
The source denied any relation of the warning to external ramifications in Lebanon, as some portray it, confirming that everything related to the Lebanese file externally remains unchanged.
In a statement, Caretaker Prime Minister Najib Mikati emphasized that after consulting with military and security leaders, the available data indicates that the overall security situation does not warrant concern or panic.
Political and security communications to address the events in the Ain al-Hilweh camp have made significant progress, and the situation is being closely monitored to ensure general stability and prevent any threat to the safety of citizens, residents, and Arab and foreign tourists.
Mikati assigned Caretaker Minister Abdallah Bou Habib to communicate with Arab brothers to reassure them about the safety of their citizens in Lebanon.
He also requested that Caretaker Minister Bassam Mawlawi convene the Central Security Council to discuss Lebanon’s challenges in these tense regional circumstances and make appropriate decisions to maintain security in all regions.