Lebanon’s Deputy Prime Minister Najib Mikati called for greater calm over the armed conflict in the Ain el-Hilweh area. Foreign Minister Abdullah Bou Habib assures that foreign nationals are safe in Lebanon. The statements are a response to subsequent travel warnings.
Britain, Germany and Middle Eastern countries warned their citizens against traveling to southern Lebanon last week. Alerts issued by the German and British Foreign Ministries advised against trips to the conflict region. The Saudi Embassy went a step further, urging the Saudis to leave Lebanon quickly. Kuwait and Qatar, in turn, asked their residents in Lebanon to be extra vigilant and avoid high-risk areas.
The Lebanese authorities decided to refer to the case. Government officials say there is no threat to tourists here.
Warnings for tourists going to Lebanon
In Lebanon, fighting has recently erupted in the largest Palestinian refugee camp, Ain el-Hilweh. More than a dozen people were killed after an Islamist attack on the main Fatah group. As a result of the manhunt, the faction’s commander, Ashraf al-Armouchi, was also killed. According to UNRWA (UN Agency for Palestinian Refugees), dozens of people were injured in the clashes. The UN agency said it was suspending all activities in the camp.
The village of Ain el-Hilweh, according to UN estimates, has 63,000 registered Palestinians (unofficially it is said to be up to 100,000) and is located southeast of the coastal city of Sidon and north of Darb Es Sim.
In connection with these events, warnings have been issued for tourists who intend to visit Lebanon in the near future. Ministries of Great Britain, Germany and Middle East countries have warned citizens against expeditions here.
The Polish government website has not yet updated the warning after last week’s fighting. According to current data, the Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs advises against all travel, e.g. to the Lebanese-Syrian, Lebanese-Israeli borderland and refugee camps. In the rest of the country, including the Lebanese capital Beirut, Polish citizens should exercise extreme caution.
Lebanon’s deputy prime minister calms down
Lebanon’s Prime Minister Najib Mikati says there is no cause for “concern or panic” over the situation in his country after Germany and the Gulf countries issued new travel warnings to Lebanon.
Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, Germany and the UK have updated their travel warnings amid clashes between rival armed groups in the Palestinian camp of Ain el-Hilweh in southern Lebanon.
In a statement, Mikati said he had spoken to his security chiefs and assessed the situation as “no need for concern or panic.” He said there had been “significant progress” in addressing the violence in Ain el-Hilweh, where at least 13 people had been killed in the fighting.