Lebanon orders removal of anti-Saudi posters in Beirut
Posters that featured offensive images of the Saudi royals in a south Beirut suburb, where Hezbollah enjoys strong support, were ordered to be taken down by the Lebanese interior ministry.
The posters appeared on the streets of Dahieh, a predominantly Shia Muslim suburb, shortly after the leader of Hezbollah, Hassan Nasrallah, accused Riyadh of terrorism.
Lebanon's Interior Minister Bassam Mawlawi ordered the removal of offensive images of Saudi leaders, with relations between Beirut and Gulf states already at a low.
Posters insulting Saudi King Salman, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and the ambassador to Lebanon, Walid Al-Bukhari, appeared in the suburb.
Mawlawi urged residents to prioritise "national interest" and to spare Lebanon and Lebanese expats "the consequences of offending their Arab brothers" while instructing the head of the Internal Security Forces to remove the posters.
هنا الضاحية... pic.twitter.com/zFvHFqLVPl— Jinan chehade (@Jinan_chehade) January 4, 2022
This comes after Nasrallah addressed King Salman on Monday and accused him of supporting terrorism.
"Your Majesty, the terrorist is who exported the Islamic State ideology to the world," Nasrallah said.
"The terrorist is the one who sent thousands of Saudis to conduct suicide operations in Iraq and Syria, and it’s you."
Lebanese Prime Minister Najib Mikati responded by saying Nasrallah's comments "do not represent the position of the Lebanese government".
Lebanese President Michel Aoun on Tuesday also said that Lebanon is keen on sustaining relations with the Arab world, especially the Gulf states, after an effective diplomatic and economic boycott of Beirut led by Saudi Arabia.
"We are keen on Lebanon's Arab and international relations, especially with the Gulf states, foremost of which is Saudi Arabia," he tweeted.
Some Gulf states are said to be concerned by the influence Iran, particularly via its proxy Hezbollah, wields in Lebanon.