Saudi Arabia reaffirms support for Lebanese sovereignty, stability

Saudi envoy Nizar Al-Aloula and Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri.

:: In a message from King Salman to Lebanese President Michel Aoun, Saudi envoy Nizar Al-Aloula reaffirmed his country’s “support for Lebanon and its sovereignty and stability,” the presidential palace said in a statement.

Al-Aloula, who arrived in Beirut on Monday, also reaffirmed “the strong relations between Lebanon and Saudi Arabia, while ensuring that these relations remain at their best.”

It is the first visit of a high-ranking Saudi envoy to Lebanon since Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri announced his resignation on Nov. 4.

Al-Aloula, who is is expected to remain in the country until Friday, is accompanied by the Kingdom’s charge d’affaires in Beirut, Walid Bukhari, and the Saudi ambassador to Lebanon, Walid Al-Yaqoub.

Aoun stressed to Al-Aloula “Lebanon’s desire to establish the best relations with Saudi Arabia,” praising “the Kingdom’s stand by Lebanon.”

The presidential press office said: “The meeting was an occasion to view the situation in the region.” It added that Al-Aloula informed Aoun of meetings he will hold in Lebanon.

The envoy met with Hariri, and Lebanese Forces party leader Samir Geagea hosted a banquet in Al-Aloula’s honor.

The envoy is due to meet Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri on Tuesday, and will meet former prime ministers Najib Mikati, Fouad Siniora and Tammam Salam, as well as Education Minister Marwan Hamadeh and Lebanese Phalange Party leader Samy Gemayel. Bukhari preceded Al-Aloula’s visit to Beirut with the tweet: “Return to hope, Lebanon!”

Lebanese media reported on Monday that the aim of the envoy’s visit is to confirm the Kingdom’s interest in bolstering bilateral relations in various fields.

Al-Aloula will also reportedly emphasize the Kingdom’s readiness to support development projects in Lebanon, and the importance of stability in implementing them.

Hariri described his talks with the envoy as “excellent,” saying after the meeting: “I received an invitation from Al-Aloula to visit Saudi Arabia, and I will do it as soon as possible.”

Hariri added: “The main goal of Saudi Arabia is to see Lebanon as master of its own decisions, and the Kingdom is keen on the integral independence of Lebanon.

“We are looking into the best way to collaborate with Saudi Arabia in the upcoming international conferences.”

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