UAE urges citizens to leave Lebanon as soon as possible

Ministry calls on citizens in Lebanon to contact the ministry of foreign affairs and international cooperation’s call center.

Abu Dhabi: The United Arab Emirates (UAE) ministry of foreign affairs on Sunday urged its citizens in Lebanon to return to the country as soon as possible, a day after recalling its diplomats from Beirut over a Lebanese minister’s remarks on the Yemen war.

“In light of current events… the foreign ministry calls on all its citizens in Lebanon to return to the UAE as soon as possible,” it said in a statement.

“The ministry has taken all necessary measures to facilitate the return of its citizens,” it added.

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Khalid Abdullah Belhoul, undersecretary of the ministry indicated that the UAE is keen to follow up the situation of its citizens abroad and ensure their safety, so, the ministry took all necessary measures to facilitate their return from Lebanon.

Ministry calls on citizens in Lebanon to contact the ministry of foreign affairs and international cooperation’s call center.

On October 30, UAE decided to withdraw its diplomats from Lebanon and ban its citizens from visiting the country, in solidarity with Saudi Arabia after statements critical of the Kingdom’s role in the Yemeni war from Lebanon’s information minister.

George Kordahi’s statement

A television interview aired on Monday, October 25, which Lebanese information minister George Kordahi did in early August, just over a month before joining the government, in which he said that the Iran-backed Houthi rebels are “defending themselves … against an external aggression”, adding that “homes, villages, funerals and weddings were being bombed” by the Arab coalition.

He also called the seven-year war in Yemen futile and said it was “time for it to end”.

The dispute also sparked calls from some senior Lebanese politicians for Kordahi’s resignation, while others opposed such a move that could undermine the government as a whole. “Enough of the disasters,” Lebanese Druze leader Walid Jumblatt said on Twitter. “Sack this minister who will destroy our relations with the Arab Gulf before it is too late.”

Yemen has been mired in civil war since September 2014 when the Houthi militia forced the internationally recognized government of President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi out of the capital Sanaa.

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