Saudi Envoy Meets Former Lebanese Premiers, Officials

إقرأ هذا الخبر بالعربية
  • W460
  • W460

Senior Saudi official Nizar al-Alula continued his meetings for the second day in a row with Lebanese officials and met on Tuesday with former prime ministers Najib Miqati and Tammam Salam and Fouad Saniora.

The ex-Premiers have received the Saudi diplomat at their residences in the presence of Saudi ambassador to Lebanon Walid al-Yaacoub and former Saudi Embassy Charge d'Affaires Walid Bukhari.

He also held talks with former President Michel Sleiman.

Alula had arrived in Beirut on Monday and held separate “positive” meetings with President Michel Aoun and PM Saad Hariri. He met with Lebanese Forces chief Samir Geagea in Maarab who held a banquet in his honor.

Hariri at his meeting in Beirut with the Saudi envoy said he received an invitation to the Kingdom, and that he would make the trip "as soon as possible", a statement issued by his office had said.

Al-Alula's visit reportedly aims to turn over a new leaf with Lebanon and comes four months after the shock now-reversed resignation of the prime minister from the Saudi capital.

The November 4 resignation and his prolonged stay in Saudi Arabia stirred tensions between Riyadh and Beirut, amid suspicions he had been placed under house arrest, until France intervened and he returned to Lebanon where the announcement was reversed.

Relations between the two countries have been strained by the competing influences in Lebanon of regional rivals Saudi Arabia and Iran.

The Saudi envoy's visit comes ahead of May 6 legislative elections, Lebanon's first since 2009 following three extensions of  parliament's mandate.

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