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Saudi Arabia urges citizens to immediately leave Lebanon amidst unrest

The Saudi embassy issued an advisory to its people not to travel to locations where armed conflicts were ongoing.

Beirut, 5 Aug, 2023 (GNP): Saudi Arabia’s embassy in Lebanon has issued an advisory calling upon its citizens to promptly leave the country due to escalating security concerns. The embassy’s statement, posted late Friday, urged Saudi nationals to avoid areas affected by armed clashes and to adhere to the Saudi travel ban to Lebanon until further notice.

While the embassy did not specify the exact locations to avoid, the advisory comes in the wake of ongoing armed clashes in Lebanon, particularly in the south near the Palestinian refugee camp of Ein el-Hilweh. Since July 29, the camp has witnessed confrontations between the mainstream faction Fatah and hardline groups, leading to casualties and injuries.

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In response to the prevailing situation, the Saudi Arabian embassy has prioritized the safety and well-being of its citizens by advising against visiting areas of security disturbances and stressing the significance of heeding the travel ban to Lebanon.

According to a statement by the Kuwaiti foreign ministry, Kuwait has also issued an advisory urging Kuwaiti citizens in Lebanon to exercise caution, and avoid areas of security disturbances, but has not mandated their departure from the country at this time.

The United Kingdom also updated its travel advice for Lebanon, recommending against all but essential travel to parts of Lebanon’s south near the Ein el-Hilweh refugee camp, where the situation remains volatile.

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The Palestinian refugee camp of Ein el-Hilweh, established in 1948, has witnessed a surge in violence between factions Fatah and armed groups Jund al-Sham and al-Shabab al-Muslim, resulting in casualties and displacement of refugees. The situation remains fluid, with intermittent armed clashes persisting despite a recent ceasefire announcement under Lebanese mediation.

As the situation unfolds, Saudi Arabia continues to monitor the developments in Lebanon and prioritize the safety of its citizens.