Aoun Begins Riyadh Visit, Says Will Seek to End 'Ambiguities' in Lebanese-Saudi Ties

إقرأ هذا الخبر بالعربية W460

President Michel Aoun arrived Monday in Saudi Arabia on his first foreign trip since taking office, starting an Arab tour that will also take him to Qatar and Egypt.

Riyadh Governor Prince Faisal bin Bandar bin Abdul Aziz welcome Aoun and the accompanying delegation at the King Khalid International Airport, Lebanon's National News Agency said.

Aoun had received an official invitation to visit the kingdom from Saudi King Salman bin Abdul Aziz.

“The Lebanese-Saudi ties were affected by the events that happened in the Arab countries... and I'm here today to put an end to the ambiguities we witnessed, carrying love and friendship to the Saudi people,” Aoun said in an interview in Riyadh with al-Ekhbariya TV.

Asked about the situations in Lebanon in light of the regional circumstances, the president noted that “the parties in Lebanon have reached consensus on the idea of building Lebanon regardless of the outcome of the developments in the other countries,” stressing that “reconstruction, security and stability would benefit everyone.”

Turning to the issue of terrorism, Aoun said all countries should “cooperate in fighting terrorism.”

“Lebanon is not an isolate island... and we need to cooperate with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and all countries because terrorism is no longer confined to the Middle Eastern countries,” the president added.

“Although Lebanon and Saudi Arabia are not next to each other geographically, the exchange of anti-terror expertise and information is a good and desired thing. And during the visit, we will explore all the issues, including the possibility of offering aid to the Lebanese army,” Aoun went on to say.

He also stressed that “regardless of the outcome of deliberations regarding the electoral law, we will not return to fighting and violence.”

Responding to a question, the president said “there is no need for a new Taef Accord in Lebanon” because the Lebanese “possess the ability to carry out certain amendments should the need arise.”

Aoun is accompanied by a large ministerial delegation comprising the ministers Jebran Bassil (foreign affairs), Marwan Hamadeh (education), Ali Hassan Khalil (finance), Yaaqoub al-Sarraf (defense), Nouhad al-Mashnouq (interior), Pierre Raffoul (presidency affairs), Melhem Riachi (information) and Raed Khoury (economy).

Lebanon's ambassador to the kingdom Abdul Sattar Issa joined the delegation upon its arrival.

Aoun will then head to Doha on Wednesday to meet the invitation of Qatar's emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani.

Prior to departing Beirut, the president had presided over a meeting for the ministerial delegation accompanying him on his tour.

Earlier in the day, Aoun had met with a French parliamentary delegation.

“We are looking forward to a political solution to the Syrian Crisis and to the return of the displaced Syrians to their country,” Aoun told the delegation.

“There are safe areas in Syria at the moment and it is appropriate to launch efforts to return them home,” he added.

Information Minister Riachi has announced that the issue of the suspended Saudi grant to the Lebanese army will be on Aoun's agenda during his visit to Riyadh.

Saudi Arabia halted a $3 billion program of military aid to Lebanon in 2016 to protest what it said was "the stranglehold of Hizbullah on the state."

It also urged its citizens to leave Lebanon and avoid travel to the country.

MP Alain Aoun of the Change and Reform bloc has stressed the keenness of President Aoun and the Free Patriotic Movement on restoring normal ties with the Arab Gulf countries, noting that the president's visit to Riyadh will achieve this goal.

“President Michel Aoun's trip to Saudi Arabia will launch a new chapter in the Lebanese-Saudi relations and will pave the way for a new phase between the two brotherly countries, and subsequently between Lebanon and the rest of the Gulf states,” Aoun told the Kuwaiti al-Anbaa newspaper in remarks published Sunday.

“This visit is important because it will return ties to their normal and historic state, which will happen gradually through ending the Saudi and Gulf boycott of Lebanon and halting all the negative measures against it, after the relations between Beirut and the Gulf states deteriorated in recent years due to the regional conflict,” MP Aoun added.

Comments 21
Thumb eagledawn 09 January 2017, 16:29

“There are safe areas in Syria at the moment and it is appropriate to launch efforts to return them home,” Aoun added.

But @flametroller says the refugees cannot return home now even if aoun says so because the refugees need the infrastructure to be complete such as high speed fiber optic networks, stone covered streets with trendy cafes, and lego land like echo friendly entertainment facilities.

Thumb justin 09 January 2017, 17:12

he quoted you enough, troll. I don't think he needs to waste his time on you anymore.

Thumb eagledawn 09 January 2017, 19:23

here goes @flametroller, choke on it.

...flamethrower--

Refugees are not only from the areas you mentioned and the areas you mentioned need time for their infrastructure to be rebuilt before the refugees could return, @tol3etree7taktexasusa ;)

Thumb ashtah 09 January 2017, 19:38

but Eagle, what you quoted does not seem to be the same version of today's flamethrower........; it must have been an older and primitive iranian version of the troll before he underwent a complete overhaul.

Missing rabbishlomo 09 January 2017, 20:01

All my disrespect for the chickenhawk for constantly misquoting the flamethrower.....
lies lies lies and then.....

Thumb barrymore 09 January 2017, 20:06

what happened to libanobrasil 1/2/3?

Missing rabbishlomo 09 January 2017, 21:16

Oh yeah, what happened to libanobrasil 1/2/3?
He was quite a character to say the least!

Missing rabbishlomo 10 January 2017, 00:46

jibrish jibrish jibrish again from abu 3igal the Saudi @fexasusa.
Lots of israelis and many jews by the name of Mark, Justin, Barry etc etc.
Same scums that spew the same hatred as you do on this forum.

Thumb liberty 10 January 2017, 04:06

lol @texas

this troll pretending to be an israeli but hates those who he accuses of being jews and israelis and is in love with the hezbollah shia trolls on the forum. He tries to copy puppet who is clever and funny. He fails miserably. These iranian trolls have zero initiative or class.

Thumb liberty 10 January 2017, 05:23

'Oh yeah, what happened to libanobrasil 1/2/3?
He was quite a character to say the least!'

How do you know he was "quite a character" if you started posting after he was banned?

Thumb ex-fpm 10 January 2017, 08:56

that's because he mutated from libnabrasil to rabbishlomo just like flamethrower and mowaten do.

Thumb warrior 09 January 2017, 20:21

@flamerotten is one of those creatures that should be tied to a pole and stoned to death.... he is an evil sinner.

Thumb liberty 10 January 2017, 04:02

the refugees who are dying in their hundreds and thousands at sea, who live in concentration camp like environment in Lebanon need a complete rebuilding of the infrastructure in Syria before they return according to the iranian scumbag flamethrower! @Eagledawn exposes you daily for the real pathetic sectarian poisonous thug that you are.

Thumb ex-fpm 10 January 2017, 07:06

please, refresh our memories ya irani. You deny your own written words like a typical takiah serial liar. Shameless !

Missing ArabDemocrat.com 10 January 2017, 09:40

The Assad regime and Iranian sectarian militias have successfully cleansed large parts of Syria of its Sunni Arab population and it is unlikely that most will be allowed to return.

Thumb norma-jean 09 January 2017, 17:11

Cutie

Happy New Year! I have so much to tell you when you settle down. The Houthians have been rampant on the forum harassing everybody.

Default-user-icon witness (Guest) 09 January 2017, 17:28

Aoun should be careful. Experience taught us that when the axis of almoumana3a is cross bad things tend to happen. Ask Bashir, Rene, Rafic.. Aoun should remember one of Hassan Khaled's last acts was to blame the Syrian army for shelling West Beirut and was preparing to meet with him.

Thumb shab 09 January 2017, 19:21

There are also safe areas in Gaza at the moment, why the difference?

Thumb ex-fpm 09 January 2017, 20:17

well, call in the syrian ambassador and request the refugees be returned instead of blabbing it out in the media.

Thumb warrior 09 January 2017, 20:22

It was Aoun's government that allowed the refugees to enter Lebanon freely and now he is complaining!

Thumb Tony.Farris 09 January 2017, 21:07

ASSad will not take the refugees back, we all know that, It's sad but true.