Middle East

Kuwait joins Saudi Arabia in ordering its citizens out of Lebanon

Kuwait and Saudi Arabia have warned citizens to leave Lebanon after its Prime Minister Saad Hariri resigned suddenly during a visit to the Saudi kingdom.

The fallout over the shock resignation of Lebanon's Prime Minister Saad Hariri has widened, with Kuwait ordering its citizens in Lebanon to immediately leave the Mediterranean country as tensions between Beirut and Saudi Arabia rise further.

Kuwait's move follows similar steps by Saudi Arabia and Bahrain.

Kuwait's foreign ministry said in a statement on Thursday that its decision was taken "as a precaution for any negative repercussions" in Lebanon.

Hariri shocked his country on Saturday when he announced from Saudi Arabia that he was resigning. He has not returned to Lebanon since.

Saudi Arabia has in the meantime threatened that it would deal with Lebanon as a hostile state as long as the militant group Hezbollah was in the Lebanese government.

Earlier on Thursday Saudi Arabia also ordered its citizens to leave Lebanon, while the Gulf nation of Bahrain did the same earlier in the week.

French President Emmanuel Macron says he will travel from the United Arab Emirates immediately to Saudi Arabia to meet with the country's crown prince.

Hariri's political party is calling for his immediate return to Lebanon after he announced his resignation in a strange, pre-recorded statement.

Following a meeting of his Saudi-aligned Future Party in Beirut on Thursday, the party issued a statement saying it was "necessary" for Hariri to return "to restore Lebanon's dignity and respect".

The statement read by former Prime Minister Fuad Saniora seemed to indicate that Hariri is being held in Saudi Arabia against his will.

 

 

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