BEIRUT: Saudi Arabia has an emergency plan for its nationals in Lebanon that it can deploy in the event the security situation in the small Mediterranean country deteriorates, Riyadh’s ambassador said in remarks published Thursday.
“The Saudi Embassy has a plan to evacuate Saudi nationals and tourists in Lebanon in the event of an emergency,” Saudi Ambassador Ali Awad al-Asiri, who spoke to the Saudi Okaz newspaper, said.
A source at the embassy told The Daily Star Thursday that the plan mentioned by Asiri was part of routine procedures amid rising security incidents in Lebanon.
The source, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the embassy was maintaining the precautionary measures it had put in place last year after Riyadh warned its citizens against travel to Lebanon.
In July of 2012, the United Arab Emirates along with Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Kuwait warned their nationals against travel to Lebanon after a spate of kidnappings by a Lebanese clan in retaliation for the abduction of one of their own in Syria.
Asiri told the Saudi paper that his embassy kept an eye on the general situation in Lebanon and maintained contact with authorities in Lebanon to evaluate the security condition in the country.
“The embassy observes the general situation [in Lebanon]and decides whether to resort to such a plan based on that and also based on indicators it reaches from its contact with relevant Lebanese [security] sides, mainly the Interior Ministry,” he said.