Saudi Arabia wants citizens to avoid Lebanon

2016-02-23 18:55
(Picture: AFP)

(Picture: AFP)

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Istanbul/Beirut - Saudi Arabia has urged its citizens to leave Lebanon, broadcaster al-Arabiya reported on Tuesday, amid a worsening row between the two governments over Iran.

Saudi Arabia decided last week to halt a $4bn grant for the Lebanese security forces in a diplomatic dispute.

Riyadh, which has seen its influence in Beirut wane in recent years, was upset the Lebanese government was not supporting the kingdom in its recent row with Iran, and at what it said were hostile "political and media positions led by the so-called Hezbollah in Lebanon".

Lebanese politics are sharply divisive and often the cabinet tries to steer clear of choosing sides in foreign disputes.

Among the tense issues is support for Hezbollah, a Shi'ite movement, and its support for Syrian President Bashar Assad, who is backed by Iran. Saudi Arabia, a Sunni monarchy, supports the opposition.

Saudi Arabia broke off diplomatic relations with Iran last month, angered by the Islamic republic's criticism of its execution of a prominent dissident Shi'ite clergyman and a mob attack on its embassy in Tehran.

Lebanon is a popular holiday destination for Saudi citizens and many own property in the coastal country.

Read more on:    saudi arabia  |  lebanon

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