Diplomatic Briefing

Your exclusive news aggregator handpicked daily!

Archive for Lebanon

Newsline: Lebanese Embassy Comes Under Attack in Tripoli

The Lebanese embassy in Tripoli has been attacked by an outraged people in the Libyan capital of Tripoli, El-Nashra news website reported, Lebanese Ambassador to Libya Mohammad Sukaina said. According to the envoy, the attackers didn’t manage to get into the building but tore off the country’s flag and a tablet from the embassy’s wall. The envoy further noted that no employees had been injured as the embassy was closed. Later in the day, the Libyan High Council of State called on for the suspension of diplomatic relations with Lebanon over the desecration of a Libyan flag in Beirut.



Newsline: Saudi ambassador to Beirut pulled after less than 3 months

Saudi Ambassador to Lebanon Walid al-Yaacoub is being replaced after being on the job for less than three months, a political source told The Daily Star Sunday. “Former Saudi Charge d’Affaires in Lebanon Walid al-Bukhari will arrive to Beirut tonight and head the Saudi diplomatic team in Lebanon,” the source said. The source said that Yaacoub would no longer be the ambassador to Lebanon, and that he had already left for Riyadh. Yaacoub was appointed to Beirut last September during Thamer al-Sabhan’s tenure as Saudi Minister of State for Gulf Affairs. The firebrand critic of Hezbollah has since been removed from the kingdom’s Lebanon file. Yaacoub’s credentials were later presented to President Michel Aoun in January. He worked in the Saudi Embassy in Beirut from 2010 to 2014 and then moved to his country’s embassy in Paris, where he worked until 2017. He worked with Sabhan on issues concerning Lebanon, while representing the kingdom in many international conferences at the United Nations.


Newsline: Lebanon judge seeks death penalty for UK diplomat’s alleged killer

An investigative judge in Lebanon has demanded the death penalty for a man who allegedly raped and murdered a British diplomat in Beirut. The judge referred the case to a public trial. The indictment, a copy of which was obtained by the Guardian, identified Tarek Houshieh, an Uber driver, as the only suspect in the killing of Rebecca Dykes, who worked with the British embassy in Beirut. It claimed that Houshieh had confessed to the crimes and referred his case to the criminal court, charging him with premeditated murder. Dykes’s body was found in December on the Metn highway leading out of Beirut. She had disappeared after spending an evening with friends at a bar in Gemmayzeh, a nightlife district in the Lebanese capital. Houshieh, a Lebanese national, had allegedly picked up Dykes from Gemmayzeh after she requested an Uber ride. The indictment alleged that instead of driving her home, he raped and then choked her to death before driving to the highway to get rid of her body, and later disposed of her purse and identity papers.


Newsline: Saudi diplomat approved in Lebanon, ending diplomatic tussle

Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to Lebanon has assumed office after presenting his credentials to the president, ending a diplomatic tussle between the two countries. Ambassador Walid al-Yaacoubi and his Lebanese counterpart in Saudi Arabia were caught in an apparent dispute over representation, with each country delaying accreditation of the other’s diplomat, though both were named months ago. The delay highlighted lingering tensions between Saudi Arabia and Lebanon following the bizarre, now-reversed resignation of Prime Minister Saad Hariri from Riyadh. Al-Yaacoubi presented his credentials to President Michel Aoun Wednesday, after Lebanese Ambassador Fawzi Kabbara, a member of Hariri’s political party, was approved in Riyadh. He had been named to the post in July but remained unaccredited in Saudi Arabia.


Newsline: Saudi, Lebanese ambassadors caught in diplomatic tussle

Lebanon’s ambassador to Saudi Arabia and his Saudi counterpart are caught in what appears to be a diplomatic tussle over representation, with each country delaying accreditation of the other’s diplomat. Both were named months ago. The delay highlights tension between Saudi Arabia and Lebanon following the bizarre, now-reversed resignation of Prime Minister Saad Hariri from Riyadh. A Lebanese diplomat said Wednesday the issue would be “resolved soon.” The diplomat, speaking on condition of anonymity, didn’t elaborate. “Diplomatic procedures will be followed,” the diplomat said. “We are committed to positive and good relations with Saudi Arabia.” The issue came up in the Cabinet’s meeting Tuesday. Government official Pierre Abi Assi told reporters following the meeting that Hariri is “keen on finding the appropriate resolution as soon as possible.” Lebanon’s ambassador to Saudi Arabia, a member of Hariri’s political party, was named to the post in late July but remains unaccredited. The outgoing ambassador remains in the post on acting capacity. Saudi Arabia named its ambassador in September. Ambassador Walid al-Yaacoubi arrived in Lebanon in November, but still has not been sworn in. There was no immediate comment from Saudi officials.


Newsline: Beirut Responds to Riyadh by Snubbing New Saudi Ambassador

The Lebanese government has been postponing the official reception of the new Saudi ambassador, apparently over Riyadh’s alleged involvement in the incident with the resignation of Prime Minister Saad Hariri, the Kuwaiti daily Al Seyassah reported. According to the newspaper, Lebanese President Michel Aoun has not yet scheduled a date to receive Ambassador Walid al-Yaqoub, who arrived in Lebanon nearly a month ago and since then has not been able to start his work. Earlier, Riyadh reportedly delayed the reception of the new Lebanese ambassador to Saudi Arabia. According to the newspaper, Lebanon may also be delivering a response to that move. In November, Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri announced his resignation while on a visit in Saudi Arabia. He later returned home and withdrew his resignation. Beirut considers the incident part of Riyadh’s attempts to meddle in Lebanon’s affairs.


Newsline: Lebanon murder inquiry arrest after UK diplomat’s death

Police in Lebanon investigating the murder of a British woman who worked at the UK embassy in Beirut have arrested a man, a source has said. Rebecca Dykes’s body was found on the side of a motorway on Saturday. She had been strangled, the BBC was told by police sources, who said the suspect worked as a taxi driver. Her family said in a statement: “We are devastated by the loss of our beloved Rebecca. We are doing all we can to understand what happened.” They added: “We request that the media respect our privacy.” Ms Dykes, who is believed to have been in her early 30s, had been working in Beirut as the programme and policy manager for the Department for International Development since January 2017.