BEIRUT: Saudi Ambassador Ali Awad Asiri has delayed his imminent departure from Lebanon, Al-Liwaa newspaper reported Friday, extending his term as the kingdom's envoy in Lebanon in light of recent turmoil.
The paper quoted Asiri as saying that Saudi King Abdullah decided that he should remain in Lebanon for the time being “to monitor sensitive developments taking place” in the country.
“The prudence of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques ruled that I should stay in Beirut to keep on following up on the present situation and future developments,” Asiri told the newspaper.
Saudi Arabia has donated $1 billion to buttress the abilities of the Lebanese Army and security forces in combating terrorism, in the wake of five days of fighting between troops and takfiri militants from Syria in the border town of Arsal earlier this month.
The paper noted that Asiri’s replacement or any new foreign envoy to Lebanon would not have been able to present credentials in the absence of a president of the republic.
The report did not say how long Asiri, who had already made farewell visits to Lebanese officials, would remain in Lebanon.