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Despite Crisis, Free Lebanese Go to UAE-Emirati . Official

FILE PHOTO: United Arab Emirates Embassy in Beirut
FILE PHOTO: United Arab Emirates Embassy in Beirut, Lebanon, October 31, 2021. REUTERS / Aziz Taher

November 30, 2021

By John Irish

PARIS (Reuters) – The United Arab Emirates will not stop Lebanese from arriving in the country despite a diplomatic dispute between Beirut and Gulf Arab states, a senior United Arab Emirates official said. most said on Tuesday.

Lebanon is facing a diplomatic crisis with Gulf states, spurred by a minister’s critical comments about a Saudi-led intervention in Yemen that has driven Riyadh, Bahrain and Kuwait away. Exporting Lebanon’s top diplomats and recalling their own special envoys. The UAE has withdrawn its envoys.

Several Kuwaiti newspapers this month reported that Kuwait had suspended visas for Lebanese citizens.

Anwar Gargash, diplomatic adviser to the President of the UAE, told reporters that Abu Dhabi will continue to provide humanitarian assistance to Beirut and does not want the Lebanese people to suffer more because of the economic and political crisis. of the country.

“We will not do anything to hurt Lebanese as individuals, as citizens. We have made the decision that it will not affect ordinary Lebanese who can come to the UAE,” Gargash said.

As for Lebanon’s damaged economy, the big concern will be any measure affecting the hundreds of thousands of Lebanese working in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, and the amount of money. they send home to a country that is drowning in poverty.

“We have been in informal dialogue with Lebanon for a long time and said that Lebanon losing its connection to the Gulf would be harmful, but none of these messages (of these) were noticed,” he said. Italy, and when the crisis hit Lebanon, there was no Arab support.”

“They thought it was a storm and it was going to go away.”

Saudi Arabia and the Gulf Arab monarchies have spent billions of dollars in aid to Lebanon, and still provide jobs and shelter for much of the Lebanese population. But friendships have been strained over the years due to the growing influence of the heavily Iran-backed Hezbollah movement in Lebanon.

(Reporting by John Irish; editing by Ghaida Ghantous and Grant McCool)

Source link Despite Crisis, Free Lebanese Go to UAE-Emirati . Official

DUSTIN JONES

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