Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 25 May 2019

Saad Hariri meets Saudi King Salman in Riyadh

The Lebanese prime minister leads a team of ministers for a Lebanese-Saudi high joint committee meeting

Saad Hariri meets Saudi King Salman in Riyadh. SPA
Saad Hariri meets Saudi King Salman in Riyadh. SPA

Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri arrived in Saudi Arabia on Monday as head of a ministerial visit to Saudi Arabia where his government will participate in the next round of meetings in the Lebanese-Saudi high joint committee.

Saudi King Salman received the Lebanese premier in Riyadh and held a meeting that “focused on the bilateral co-operation between the two countries and the latest developments in the region, especially in Lebanon,” a press release from the Mr Hariri’s office said.

Mr Hariri’s government representatives are in Saudi Arabia on a two-day trip to draft agreements “needed to strengthen and deepen the relations between Lebanon and Saudi Arabia” – a statement from the Saudi state news agency said.

Mr Hariri is expected to return to Lebanon tomorrow in anticipation of US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s first visit to Lebanon since the formation of a government.

Saudi Arabia and Lebanon have experienced an improvement in relations that has seen Riyadh lift the travel ban on Saudi citizens going to Lebanon – providing a much-needed source of income for Mr Hariri’s administration.

A recent move to label Hezbollah as a terrorist entity by the UK government was welcomed by Riyadh as they look to apply pressure on the militant group's backers and regional arch nemesis, Iran.

The meeting is the first Lebanese-Saudi high joint committee held this year and will likely result in them setting a date for another session later this year.

Updated: March 12, 2019 11:04 AM

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