Saudi envoy thanks Lebanese officials for condemning Ayyoub’s article

Saudi envoy Walid Al-Bukhari is shown with PM Saad Hariri
Saudi envoy Walid Al-Bukhari is shown with PM Saad Hariri

Saudi Charge d’Affaires in Lebanon  on Friday hailed Lebanese officials, journalists, opinion leaders and citizens for condemning an editorial in ad-Diyar newspaper that carried insults against him and against Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

The Lebanese people “are the people of the kingdom and its friends,” Walid Bukhari told a delegation comprising civil society groups, independent figures, businessmen, engineers, physicians, lawyers, clerics and politicians, who  visited him at the embassy to deplore the article written by Charles Ayyoub, ad-Diyar’s publisher and managing editor.

Bukhari said the editorial “does not reflect the ethics of all media outlets in Lebanon,” noting that “all attempts to question the kingdom’s role and leadership in the region have failed.”

The envoy thanked President Michel Aoun, pointing out that “from the very beginning, he focused on taking all the legal measures in a decisive way.”

Bukhari also thanked Prime Minister-designate Saad Hariri “who expressed his condemnation and took the necessary legal measures.”

“The kingdom will not allow such subservient writers to affect the relation between the two countries,” the charge d’affaires added.

“All components of the Lebanese society have expressed their condemnation and I will never forget this stance,” he went on to say.

In his editorial article Ayyoub  called on the Saudi ambassador to leave Lebanon, and used the terms “dogs” and “pigs” 22 times in describing the saudi envoy and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman

Acting Justice Minister Selim Jreissati on Tuesday asked the prosecutor general to initiate proceedings against Al-Diyar, saying the article violated Lebanese law and endangered the country.

Saudi Arabia is closely allied with one of Lebanon’s main political blocs and has provided extensive financial aid to the country.