The Saudi “Al-Akhbariya” channel, through its official Twitter account, quoted the Lebanese ambassador as saying: “We will intensify security efforts to prevent drug smuggling in the future,” indicating that “the security forces must strike with an iron fist against drug smuggling.”
He added that drug-smuggling gangs do not care about the interest of Lebanon and its relations and harm the country’s reputation, pointing out that Lebanon is not the source of smuggling.
The Ambassador of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to Lebanon Walid Al-Bukhari confirmed today that the motives of his country’s decision to prevent Lebanese products from entering Saudi Arabia are security.
The Lebanese “MTV” channel today quoted Bukhari as saying that “the motives for the Saudi decision are security in the first place and aim to preserve the safety and security of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, its citizens and residents.”
In another statement to the Lebanese “LBC” channel, Al-Bukhari pointed out that “the smuggling of drugs into the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and its promotion reveals the extent of the challenge that Saudi Arabia faces from local and international criminal networks.”
The Saudi decision provoked various reactions in Lebanon, and the head of the “Lebanese Forces” party, Samir Geagea, held the ruling group responsible for covering the contraband trade.
For his part, the head of the Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture in Tripoli and the North, Tawfiq Dabousi, wished, in an open letter to the Saudi leadership, to “reconsider the decision to prevent the entry of Lebanese fruit and vegetable consignments, as the people of Lebanon are looking forward to the Kingdom of Good’s continuing support and standing by it.”
The head of the “Seven” party, Jad Dagher, considered that Lebanon has no borders with Saudi Arabia, and there are drugs that may come from it, but Lebanon does not export pomegranates, pointing out that “punishing an entire nation with this dangerous situation is unjust.”
On Friday, Saudi Arabia decided to prevent consignments of Lebanese vegetables and fruits from entering it or crossing through its territory, starting from tomorrow, Sunday, until the relevant Lebanese authorities provide sufficient and reliable guarantees for them to take the necessary measures to stop the systematic drug smuggling operations against it.