Saudi Arabia will not deport Lebanese expatriates residing in its territory, according to Saudi Ambassador to Lebanon Walid Bukhari.
“Everything that is being said about the Kingdom’s intention to deport the Lebanese from its lands is unfounded,” Ambassador Bukhari said during a conversation with reporters on Wednesday.
The diplomat pointed out that even in the midst of the Gulf War, Saudi Arabia did not deport anyone from its lands. This, he said, “is because the Kingdom was built on humanitarian foundations.”
He recalled seeing a Lebanese family before him in line when he went to receive a coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine shot, saying the incident brought him joy because Saudi Arabia was not differentiating between citizens and residents in the vaccination process.
“What has earned the Kingdom the respect of the international community is that it has a single language and political discourse in public and in secret,” he explained.
Bukhari’s statement comes in response to rumors that Saudi Arabia would deport Lebanese expatriates as a consequence of caretaker Lebanese Foreign Minister Charbel Wehbe‘s controversial remarks about the Arab country.
Facing internal and regional pressure, Wehbe submitted his resignation to President Michel Aoun on Wednesday morning.