BEIRUT: Riyadh stands at the forefront of those facing the global threat of terrorism, the Saudi Embassy in Beirut said Monday, while dismissing recent criticism of the kingdom as "an affront to truth."
“The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia suffers first and foremost from terrorism and has contributed to the field of counter-terrorism," the statement said, "winning praise and appreciation from the international community, which pays tribute to the approach of moderation and wisdom pursued by the kingdom.”
The statement was widely seen as a reaction to Lebanese journalist Ghassan Jawad, of slabnews.com, who called for visa restrictions against Arab Gulf tourists and accused them of having a "desert" and "Bedouin" mentality during an appearance on OTV's "Think Twice" over the weekend.
Without naming any specific detractors, the embassy lashed out at accusations that the kingdom was responsible for terrorism, including a bombing at the Deroy Hotel in Beirut where a Saudi national blew himself up during a raid by security forces.
“The embassy of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has become used to ignoring this type of nonsense and those who publish it, knowing that the writer is backed by parties who wish the Arabs and this region ill,” the statement said, without naming Jawad. “In fact, he is throwing himself into something he does not understand, and has allowed himself to wade into internal strife and turn his pen into a tool of [division] among the Islamic nation.”
The statement also attacked Jawad personally, accusing “the writer” of “contradictory loyalties” and implying that no one should believe him.
“The embassy would like to clarify to the entire Lebanese public that the information published by this writer and his ilk is misleading and an affront to truth. He knows the sources of terrorism but he turns a blind eye to them.”
The statement then said the writer speaks only for himself and “certain sides” who would spoil relations between Lebanon and Saudi Arabia, and praised Lebanese mainstream media for its professionalism.