Bukhari Says Hariri Lebanon 'Guardian', PM Says KSA Will Always Back Lebanon
Saudi Ambassador to Lebanon Walid al-Bukhari on Wednesday described Prime Minister Saad Hariri as an “extension” of his father, slain ex-PM Rafik Hariri, and as a “guardian of the approach of protecting Lebanon.”
“We are people who defend Lebanon's independence and sovereignty because we consider ourselves to be from Lebanon and that Lebanon is a part of us,” Bukhari said at a forum at Beirut's Seaside Arena.
The forum titled “Taef Accord: Achievements, Numbers and Partners” was organized by the Hariri Foundation for Sustainable Human Development in cooperation with the Saudi embassy in Beirut to commemorate the 14th anniversary of Rafik Hariri's assassination.
“They assassinated him because they wanted to bury the Taef Accord,” Bukhari noted.
“We congratulate on the formation of the government and we hope it will be a gateway for prosperity and we are fully confident that Lebanon will rise anew,” the ambassador added, stressing that “Saudi Arabia is keen on Lebanon's safety, stability and national unity.”
Hariri meanwhile delivered an address in which he thanked Saudi King Salman bin Abdul Aziz and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman for the participation of Saudi royal envoy Nizar al-Aloula in the forum.
He added that “Saudi Arabia and its leadership and people will always stand by the Lebanese,” noting that the Taef Accord has turned into “a model for a lot of the region's countries that are aspiring to restore civil peace through a political settlement.”