Cairo: Lebanon is keen to avoid being a “transit” and bring harm on Saudi Arabia or other Gulf countries, Lebanese President Michel Aoun has said.
Last week, Saudi Arabia announced a ban on Lebanese fruit and vegetable products, saying they were used in drug smuggling to the kingdom.
“Lebanon does not accept to be a transit for what can harm the sisterly Arab countries in general and Saudi Arabia and the Gulf countries in particular, in view of strong links binding Lebanon with these countries that have always sided with Lebanon under different circumstances,” Aoun told a group of Lebanese industrialists in Beirut.
“Saudi Arabia is a sisterly country and we are interested in keeping economic cooperation with it. We are making great efforts to disclose the circumstances of what happened and bring matters to their right track,” he added.
Fruit and vegetable
Saudi Arabia has said it will not import Lebanese fruit and vegetables or allow them to pass through its territory until the Lebanese authorities provide guarantees that their shipments will not be manipulated in smuggling drugs into the kingdom.
Lebanon’s caretaker Industry Minister Imad Hoballah, who attended Aoun’s meeting, called for tightening oversight at the Lebanese customs outlets to stop smuggling. “This affects our ties with the sisterly countries and consequently has serious economic repercussions,” he added.
Lebanon is experiencing its worst economic crisis in decades.