“We recommend our citizens, who live in Lebanon to leave the country immediately and to refrain from visiting it,” the Saudi Arabian Ministry of Foreign Affairs said Thursday.
The statement comes amid the resignation of former Lebanese Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri, who was the prime minister from 2009 to 2011 and took office again in November 2016. The decision on Saturday, while Hariri was visiting Saudi Arabia. The former minister explained his move with concerns that he could be assassinated like his father and criticized the Lebanon-based Shiite Hezbollah paramilitary and political movement, accusing Iran of alleged attempts to bring destruction to the region.
Hariri’s resignation came in the wake of a statement by Saudi Minister for Gulf Affairs Thamer al-Sabhan, who stated that Riyadh expected Lebanon to “act to deter” Hezbollah movement, which is included in the country’s government, as it is allegedly posing a threat to Saudi Arabia.