Saudi Embassy evacuates 300 tourists from Lebanon

Lebanese protesters block a main road near Beirut-Rafic Hariri International Airport, amidst ongoing protests against dire economic conditions, on October 18, 2019. (AFP)
Updated 19 October 2019

Saudi Embassy evacuates 300 tourists from Lebanon

  • The embassy said that evacuees were escorted to Rafic Hariri International Airport in Beirut by Lebanese security forces to guarantee their safety
  • Three Saudia aircraft were used to transport them

BEIRUT: Saudi Arabia's embassy in Lebanon has confirmed it has facilitated the “evacuation of Saudi residents and visitors” from the country.
“The evacuation operation, imposed by the security situation in Lebanon and the importance of ensuring the safety of Saudi nationals, started Saturday at 5 a.m. after the Kingdom secured three Saudia aircraft to transport them,” the embassy told Arab News.
“Three hundred people were evacuated as of Saturday afternoon, while the total number of those wishing to leave remains unclear. We have identified a hotel in Beirut as a starting point,” it added, noting that most of those who had left were tourists.
The embassy also confirmed evacuees were escorted to Rafic Hariri International Airport in Beirut by Lebanese security forces to guarantee their safety.
Protests broke out in Lebanon on Thursday night, and disorder has disrupted roads leading to the airport, with burning tires blocking several key routes.
On Friday, the Saudi Ministry of Foreign Affairs urged its citizens already in Lebanon to exercise “utmost caution.”
Egypt’s Embassy in Beirut also called on its nationals in the country to avoid protest areas, Egyptian state news agency MENA said.
“The embassy calls on all Egyptian citizens in Lebanon to avoid the areas of gatherings and protests, to be careful in their movements and to abide by the instructions of the Lebanese authorities in this regard,” MENA reported.
Meanwhile, Kuwait’s Embassy in Lebanon asked citizens wishing to travel to the country to delay trips where possible.
“The embassy also calls on citizens currently in Lebanon to take utmost care and stay away from crowds and demonstrations,” it said on social media site Twitter.
Bahrain and the UAE warned against travel to Lebanon and called on their citizens in the country to leave immediately.


King Salman leads Saudi official condemnations of Florida attacks

Updated 7 sec ago

King Salman leads Saudi official condemnations of Florida attacks

  • King orders Saudi security agencies to cooperate with US investigators to bring about a speedy resolution to the incident

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia's King Salman called US President Donald J. Trump Friday night to express his deep sorrow and grief over the Florida shooting of a number of American citizens by a Saudi student.
"The king extended his sincere condolences and sympathies to the President and to the families of the victims, wishing a speedy recovery to the wounded," the Saudi Press Agency reported.
"The king also affirmed that the perpetrator of this heinous crime does not represent the Saudi people who respect and appreciate the American people," the report said.
King Salman also assured President Trump of Saudi Arabia's support to the US and told him that directives had been issued to Saudi security agencies to fully cooperate with the US security agencies in their investigations to get to the bottom of the incident.

Adel Al-Jubeir, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs said: “My deepest sympathies and heartfelt condolences go out to the American people, and to the families of those effected by the tragedy that unfolded at Pensacola."

Saudi Arabia’s Ambassador to the US Princess Reema bint Bandar said her thoughts are with the families of those effected by the shooting.