Saudi Arabia expresses hope for stability in Lebanon following violent clashes

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Saudi Arabia has expressed its hope for the stability of Lebanon and support for the Lebanese people following violent clashes on Thursday, the Kingdom’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement carried by the Saudi Press Agency.

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“The Kingdom aspires for Lebanon to prevail in peace and security by ending the possession and use of weapons outside the framework of the state and strengthening the Lebanese state for the benefit of all Lebanese without exception,” the statement said.

“The brotherly Lebanese people deserve stability in their homeland, growth in their economy, and security that dispels terrorism.”

At least six people were killed when protests by the Iran-backed Hezbollah and ally Amal movement against the judge leading a probe of the Beirut port blast turned violent.

Snipers fired from rooftops at the protesters, who Hezbollah claimed were members of the Christian Lebanese Forces party.

The Lebanese Forces denied any involvement in the violence.

Lebanon has been embroiled in an economic crisis since 2019, which was exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic and the deadly port blast in August 2020.

A probe to determine the reason why a large quantity of ammonium nitrate, which caught fire and caused an explosion killing more than 200 people, was being stored at the port has stalled numerous times.

Hezbollah and its allies are accusing judge Tarek Bitar of carrying out the investigation in a biased way.

Several Hezbollah allies have been singled out in the probe, although no party members have been.

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