As of Thursday, November 9, the governments of Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, and Kuwait have ordered their citizens to leave Lebanon as tensions continue to mount between Saudi-led Gulf states and Lebanon. The Kuwaiti Foreign Ministry claimed the move was a “precaution for any negative repercussions” in Lebanon in light of the deepening political crisis following Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri’s sudden resignation and continued absence from the country. As the governments have advised their citizens to leave the country “as soon as possible,” increased demand for plane tickets and congestion at Beirut-Rafic Hariri International Airport (BEY).
While on a visit to Saudi Arabia on November 4, Lebanese Prime Minister Hariri unexpectedly announced his resignation; Hariri has not returned to Lebanon since his announcement. The circumstances surrounding the resignation are unclear, however conflicting reports say the move was due to Saudi pressure and alleged assassination plots. In addition, Saudi Arabia threatened to consider Lebanon a hostile state for as long as Iran-linked militia Hezbollah remains in power.
Individuals in the region are advised to monitor the situation and contact their respective diplomatic missions for further information regarding security and travel to and from Lebanon.