Gulf nations pay tribute to Lebanon blast victims

Countries in the Gulf paid tribute to victims of the two powerful blasts that rocked Beirut Tuesday as Qatar said it would send field hospitals to support Lebanon’s medical response.

Qatar’s ruler Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani called President Michel Aoun to offer condolences, according to the state-run Qatar News Agency.

Sheikh Tamim wished “a speedy recovery for the injured,” QNA reported, adding that he “expressed Qatar’s solidarity with brotherly Lebanon and its willingness to provide all kinds of assistance”.

Field hospitals would be dispatched, the report added.

Elsewhere in the Gulf, the United Arab Emirates’ Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Anwar Gargash tweeted that “our hearts are with Beirut and its people”.

He posted the tribute alongside an image of Dubai’s Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building, illuminated in the colours of the Lebanese flag. 

“Our prayers during these difficult hours are that God… protects brotherly Lebanon and the Lebanese to reduce their affliction and heal their wounds,” he wrote.

Gulf countries including Qatar and the UAE maintain close ties with Beirut and have long provided financial aid and diplomatic assistance to mediate Lebanon’s political and sectarian divisions.

Bahrain’s foreign ministry urged its nationals in Lebanon to contact the ministry’s operations centre or Manama’s representative in Beirut, while Kuwait ordered its citizens to take extreme caution and stay indoors.

It also asked those in need of assistance to contact their embassy.