The Saudi government has withdrawn a license granted to a Lebanese investor to practice media on its land following strictest sanctions the Gulf states agreed on against the commercial activity of members of Hezbollah living and acting on Saudi soil.
The Saudi Ministry of Interior has officially asked government institutions that grant licenses in all investment sectors to hold on before granting permission to foreigners. The ministry’s role then will be to conduct a security screening on the identity and partisan belonging of foreigners prior to issuing them a license. This procedure is also applicable upon renewing one’s business license and residency visa.
Such a step comes as the Gulf states are striving to bring into effect the decision they had earlier taken to apply sanctions against sources that fund and financially support Lebanese militant group Hezbollah.
According to Gulf sources, some of the Gulf states expressed fears over implementing such decision and are worried about its consequences, including what relates to the rules and bylaws governing the foreign investment in these countries, and the legal rights these countries' investors have to secure and guarantee investments.
Some businessmen in the Gulf countries expressed worry about the commercial relations that they have with some Lebanese businessmen, or with those who have political trends with Hezbollah or the Muslim Brotherhood.
The Saudi sanctions came after ministers of interior of the Gulf states approved this month, following a meeting held in Manama, Bahrain, to set up a police apparatus for the GCC member countries. They assigned a team to study the organizational, administrative and financial aspects of such body.
A statement released by the Cooperation Council of the Arab Gulf States said: “The main objective to establish a GCC police body, which would serve as a GCC Interpol, is to maintain much coordination among the police entities of the Gulf States, exchange of information, and focus on crimes which mostly threaten the region, whether these crimes are organized or trans-border.”
Ministers of Interior of the GCC states last November during a meeting in Manama passed unified security measures against the interests of Hezbollah and those who affiliate to it after discussing a detailed technical report on previous meetings held by GCC officials of security and economic entities on the backdrop of Hezbollah’s intervention in Syria’s civil war in support of President Bashar al-Assad.