UAE Gives Citizens Green Light for Lebanon Travel
The United Arab Emirates has lifted a ban for its citizens to travel to Lebanon, according to the state-run news agency WAM. The announcement coincided with a visit to Abu Dhabi by Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Harari, who has been touring Gulf states in an effort to shore up his country’s ailing economy, which is suffering from crushing foreign debt and laggard growth, leading to popular unrest. The UAE issued the ban in 2016 out of concern over kidnappings and other forms of crime, with the relatively small Mediterranean coastal state having absorbed an estimated 1.5 million Syrian refugees due to that country’s civil war. The Emiratis are also foes of Hizbullah, the Iran-backed Shi’ite group that has made numerous inroads into Lebanese governance while regularly involving itself in threats and counter-threats with Israel.