Lebanon’s Aoun begins two-day Saudi visit

The two-day visit is deemed crucial for enhancing bilateral ties between the two countries



Lebanon’s new President Michel Aoun arrived in Saudi Arabia on Monday night on a two-day visit deemed crucial to reviving bilateral ties between the two countries.

Aoun, who was accompanied by a large ministerial delegation, met with King Salman and members of the country’s cabinet.

Read: Lebanon’s Aoun elected president, ending 29-month vacuum

He will also meet with senior leaders and is expected to attend a gathering of Saudi and Lebanese businessman today.

The visit is the Lebanese leader’s first since taking office and comes after Saudi Arabia halted a $3-4bn arms deal with the Lebanese army in the opening months of 2016.

This followed Saudi concerns that Shia group and Iran ally Hezbollah was exerting too much influence on the state.

Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states have also advised citizens against travel to Lebanon, denying the country a key source of tourism revenue.

Read: GCC backs Saudi decision to halt $4bn Lebanese arms deal

Majed Abdullah Al-Hedayan, a legal affairs official at the Riyadh Chamber of Commerce and Industry, told local publication Arab News: “The Lebanese president’s first foreign visit to the Kingdom has important implications and sends very strong domestic and regional messages.”

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