UAE, Saudi Arabia warn citizens against travel to Lebanon

Gulf countries issue warnings amid concerns over security; UAE says also reducing diplomatic mission

Saudi Arabia's foreign ministry warned its citizens against travel to Lebanon and urged those present to leave for their own safety, state news agency SPA reported on Tuesday.

The kingdom has issued several previous warnings about security in Lebanon, but this statement comes at a sensitive time in the two countries' diplomatic relationship.

Saudi Arabia said it was suspending aid to the Lebanese army last week in response to Lebanon's failure to condemn attacks by Iranian protesters on Saudi diplomatic missions in January.

Separately, the UAE said that it was banning its citizens from travelling to Lebanon and reducing its diplomatic mission there, according to state news agency WAM.

"The Foreign and International Cooperation Ministry announced that it had raised its warning situation on traveling to Lebanon to banning travel there ... (It) also decided to reduce the members of its diplomatic mission in Beirut to its furthest extent," the ministry said in a statement said.

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