Report: Hariri Meeting with Velayati, His Trip to SA Take Spotlight
The visit of Prime Minister Saad Hariri to Saudi Arabia took the spotlight again, mainly because it is his second trip to the Kingdom in a matter of days and came after a meeting at the Grand Serail with the Iranian senior adviser to international affairs Ali Akbar Velayati, al-Joumhouria daily reported on Saturday.
Velayati had started a two-day visit to Lebanon on Friday to partake in the World Conference of the Resistance Scholars. He met Hariri and announced to reporters afterward that Iran is “protects Lebanon's stability and government.”
Speculation arose about the “dimensions” of Hariri's second visit to SA, meanwhile al-Mustaqbal sources told the daily that it was scheduled before the Iranian diplomat's visit to Lebanon.
“Hariri's trip to Saudi Arabia is not related to his meeting with Velayati. It comes in the framework of follow-up meetings held a few days ago with the Saudi leadership in the hope that it reaps positive results,” said the sources.
Hariri flew to Saudi Arabia on a “work trip” on Friday. He had visited the kingdom on Monday for talks with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and State Minister for Gulf Affairs Thamer al-Sabhan.
Strained relations between Saudi Arabia and Iran reflect on the situation in Lebanon and on its rival political parties, where Riyadh and Iran support opposing groups in the middle eastern country.
Both, Iran and Saudi Arabia, have accused each other of support for terrorism. After the Saudi diplomatic missions in Tehran and Mashhad were ransacked by Iranian protesters, Saudi Arabia broke off diplomatic relations with Iran on January 3, 2016.