Prime Minister Saad Hariri met Monday with Saudi King Salman in Riyadh, discussing ways to boost cooperation between the two countries, according to a statement released by Hariri’s media office.
The talks also covered the situation in Lebanon and developments in the region, the statement said.
The meeting, at the Yamama Palace in the Saudi capital, was also attended by Saudi Foreign Minister Ibrahim al-Assaf, Saudi royal court envoy Nizar al-Aloula, Saudi Ambassador to Lebanon Walid al-Bukhari and Lebanese Ambassador to Saudi Arabia Fawzi Kabbara.
It was Hariri’s first visit to the kingdom since he formed a 30-member national unity government on Jan. 31. The prime minister has been in Riyadh on a private family visit since last Friday.
Hariri’s visit came as a joint Lebanese-Saudi technical committee wound up its meetings in Riyadh Sunday night by reaching 17 agreements and a memorandum of understanding on cooperation in several fields that are ready to be signed once necessary legal measures have been taken by the two countries, the state-run National News Agency reported.
The two sides also agreed to reactivate cooperation agreements that had been previously signed by Lebanon and Saudi Arabia, the NNA said.
It added that the Lebanese side handed the Saudi side two MoUs for study pertaining to cooperation in the field of trade and exhibitions.
Among the flurry of foreign officials who have visited Lebanon recently after the Cabinet formation to press the new government to move ahead with the implementation of key essential economic and financial reforms promised at the CEDRE conference, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is expected to arrive in Beirut on a short visit this week for talks with Lebanese leaders on bilateral relations, U.S. military aid to the Lebanese Army, and Hezbollah’s “growing role” in internal Lebanese politics.
The Daily Star