DUBAI: The United Arab Emirates said Saturday it was withdrawing its diplomats from Lebanon, following a similar Saudi Arabia move over a Lebanese minister's criticism of the Riyadh-led military intervention in Yemen.
The diplomatic row, which has also seen Saudi Arabia suspend imports from Lebanon and both Kuwait and Bahrain expel Beirut's envoys to their capitals, is another blow to a country already in the grip of crippling political and economic crises.
Lebanon had been counting on financial assistance from the Gulf to rescue its economy.
"The UAE announced the withdrawal of its diplomats from Lebanon in solidarity with the sisterly Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in light of the unacceptable approach of some Lebanese officials towards Saudi Arabia," the foreign ministry said in a statement.
It "also decided to prevent its citizens from travelling to Lebanon," it added. It came a day after the Saudi and Bahraini moves and hours after Kuwait asked Lebanon's envoy to "leave in 48 hours" and recalled its ambassador from Beirut, according to state news agency KUNA.