Hariri in Riyadh for First Visit Since Resignation

Hariri in Riyadh for First Visit Since ResignationHariri in Riyadh for First Visit Since Resignation

Lebanese Prime Minister’s Saad al-Hariri arrived in Riyadh on Wednesday, his first trip to Saudi Arabia since he announced his resignation there during a visit last November, which triggered a political storm in the region.

A statement by the Lebanese prime minister’s office said he left Beirut late on Tuesday in response to an invitation from King Salman, Middle East Eye reported.

Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz met with Hariri. The meeting tackled bilateral relations and developments in Lebanon, according to the official SPA news agency.  

A host of Saudi and Lebanese officials were present at the meeting, including Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir and Lebanese ambassador Fawzi Kabara.  

Hariri was expected to meet later in the day with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.  Hariri last travelled to the Saudi kingdom on November 3 and resigned in a televised statement a day later.

Lebanese officials accused Saudi Arabia of forcing Hariri, its long-time ally, to quit and putting him under effective house arrest until France intervened.

Riyadh has denied this.

He returned home weeks later and withdrew his resignation, drawing a line under the crisis that had raised fears for Lebanon’s economic and political stability.

After his return, Hariri’s coalition government, reaffirmed a state policy of staying out of conflicts in the Arab world.

Lebanon declared its policy of “dissociation” in 2012 to keep the deeply divided state out of regional conflicts such as the war in neighboring Syria.


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