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Fears grew Wednesday of further punitive measures against Lebanon by Saudi Arabia and its Gulf colleagues in response to what Riyadh perceives as "hostile" stances at Arab League and Islamic meetings, as the Saudi ambassador indicated his country was not satisfied with the Lebanese government's position.Prime Minister Tammam Salam appealed in a message to Saudi King Salman for help in defusing a serious diplomatic crisis between the two countries sparked off last week when Riyadh suspended $4 billion in grants to purchase arms to the Lebanese military and security forces. The message was relayed to the Saudi Ambassador Ali Awad Asiri. Following an emergency meeting Monday, the Cabinet unanimously agreed on a statement underlining Lebanon's commitment to Arab unanimity and causes. Salam announced that he would head a ministerial delegation to visit Gulf countries to reassure them of Lebanon's commitment to its Arab identity and Arab unanimity. Asked whether Riyadh might take further steps, like the deportation of some Lebanese expatriates in the kingdom, Asiri said that was up to the Saudi leadership to decide.
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