Saudi envoy urges Lebanon to retain its ‘Arabness’

A man carries a giant flag made of flags of Iran, Palestine, Syria and Hezbollah, during a ceremony marking the 37th anniversary of the Islamic Revolution, in Tehran February 11, 2016. (Reuters)

Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to Lebanon urged Beirut on Tuesday to hold on its “Arabness” after Riyadh cut $4 billion in  military aid to the Mediterranean country.

The ambassador Ali Awad Assiri, who was receiving several delegations in the capital Beirut, urged Lebanon to “return to its Arabness,” the local Daily Star quoted him as saying in a news conference at the embassy.

Assiri said Riyadh is also vigilant to keep Lebanon’s security and sovereignty safe. He added: “The spontaneous movement of delegations coming to the embassy shows the love Lebanese people have for us and their desire to preserve Saudi-Lebanese relations.”

Meanwhile, Lebanon’s Prime Minister on Monday said he will head a ministerial delegation to visit Gulf states in the near future.

The Saudi move came after Lebanon failed to back the Sunni kingdom in its spat with Shiite powerhouse Iran, the leading backer of Hezbollah.

In a statement Monday, Lebanese Prime Minister Tammam Salam insisted Beirut stands by Arab countries.

Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:46 - GMT 06:46