BEIRUT: Lebanon is looking out for the best interests of foreign nationals in the country, caretaker Foreign Affairs Minister Adnan Mansour said Saturday, a day after the U.S. ramped up its diplomatic efforts in Lebanon ahead of a potential military strike in Syria.
“Foreign and Arab citizens [in Lebanon] have the full attention of the Lebanese and the Lebanese state,” Mansour told the National News Agency.
Several Gulf countries along with Britain and the U.S. have issued travel warnings to Lebanon due to the security situation in the country and the possible U.S.-led military strike on Syria.
President Barack Obama is debating with the U.S. Congress to launch a “punitive” military strike against President Bashar Assad’s government over the regime’s alleged use of chemical weapons.
The European Union also accused Saturday the Assad regime of using poisonous gas during an attack in a Damascus suburb last month, calling for a “clear and strong response" to the alleged attack.
Asked about the U.S. State Department’ move Friday to order non-emergency staff and their dependents out of Lebanon, Mansour said: “This is an internal measure by the concerned embassy and we hope they will stay in Lebanon given that the situation is calm in the meantime.”
The U.S. embassy has boosted its security in recent days. A protest against the potential U.S.-led strike on Syria was held outside the U.S. mission Friday. A similar demonstration is expected later Saturday.