Saudi envoy confirms evacuation of 260 citizens from Beirut


By Nader Al-Enizi

Okaz/Saudi Gazette

Saudi Ambassador to Lebanon Waleed Bukhari confirmed on Saturday that 260 Saudi nationals have been evacuated from Beirut in the first phase of the Crisis and Emergency Management Plan, following three days of intense protest in Lebanon.

The envoy was on hand to attend to the Saudi citizens’ needs and ensure their safe arrival at Rafic Hariri International Airport. Until Saturday afternoon (Asr) Bukhari confirmed to Okaz/Saudi Gazette that 260 citizens has been seen off from Beirut.

Bukhari also stressed that there were no cases of injuries or any Saudi participation in the demonstrations have been registered. He said that this indicates the awareness the Saudi citizen enjoys their respect for the laws of countries.

Bukhari added that the number of telephone calls received by the embassy is in the range of 800 to 1,200 calls. He said that accommodation, transport and security escort, in cooperation with the Lebanese Army Command and Internal Security Forces, have been secured to ensure the safe arrival of evacuees to the Kingdom.

Bukhari said the embassy is in contact with the Saudi families residing in Lebanon to ensure that they are not subject to any harassment.

The Kingdom’s embassy in Lebanon had announced the success of the first phase of the Crisis and Emergency Management Plan to evacuate Saudi nationals, which began at 5:00 a.m. Saturday.

In a statement today, the embassy thanked the Lebanese army and internal security forces, expressing the hope that Lebanon will enjoy lasting security and stability.

The Saudi embassy has specified Lancaster Hotel located in Raouche Area as the congregation point for Saudi citizens, in preparation for transporting them to the airport and departure to Saudi Arabia.

The embassy has asked all Saudi nationals residing in Lebanon and Saudi visitors to the country to exercise caution and keep away from areas witnessing demonstrations and protests.

In a statement on Friday, the embassy said: “In view of the current security situation in Lebanon, and due to the keenness on ensuring the safety of Saudi citizens, the Saudi embassy in Beirut asks all Saudi residents in and visitors to Lebanon to exercise caution and keep away from areas witnessing demonstrations and protests.”

Earlier, the Kingdom warned against traveling to Lebanon whether from the Kingdom or any other international destination, due to its keenness to ensure the citizens’ safety in view of the current situation in Lebanon and in order to avoid any negative consequences ensuing from the ongoing situation there.