Commenting on the mysterious arrest of 14 Lebanese nationals in the UAE, the Lebanese ambassador to the UAE, Fouad Dandan, said that he had no information on the reason behind the arrests.
In an interview with Sawt Beirut International, Dandan said that the investigations into the incident, in which 14 Lebanese citizens were arrested by Emirati authorities as they played football, are still secretive.
“We are the second largest Arab community in the UAE, and we are among the communities with the least number of arrests of its members,” he stressed, adding that he maintains contact with the detainees’ families and the Emirati authorities.
Dandan said that Lebanon has good relations with the UAE and that the latter had always been at the side of the Lebanese people.
After the news spread a degree of panic in Lebanon, Dandan commented on the reported suspension of visa applications for Lebanese citizens, saying that he had not been officially been informed of such a decision.
“I contacted the Emirati authorities, and there is no decision in this regard,” he said during the interview. “Some Lebanese managed to obtain visas while others were unable to do so,” he added.
The ambassador went on to explain that there are conditions for obtaining visas, and, “in Lebanon, there is a state of panic, so people who submitted more than one visa application in one day have caused the ‘system’ to refuse their application.”
He also noted that the only UAE state to lift the coronavirus-induced ban on visitors, as of yet, is Dubai.