Weeks after the election of Michel Aoun as the new Lebanese president, a high-level Saudi delegation led by Makkah Emir Prince Khaled Al-Faisal visits Beirut Monday for crucial talks with the country’s leadership, according to Al-Hayat newspaper.
The delegation includes state minister for the GCC affairs Thamir Al-Sabhan who visited Lebanon in October before the presidency election in order to reactivate the Saudi-Lebanese relationships.
At that time, Al-Sabhan described the Saudi-Lebanese relations as “historic” and said they would not be affected by any emergencies or hidden agendas.
According to Al-Hayat newspaper, the Saudi delegation will hold talks with President Michel Aoun, Prime Minister Designate Saad Al-Hariri, Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri and other senior government officials, party leaders and top politicians.
Sources told Al-Hayat that the delegation will discuss ways and means of enhancing bilateral relations and consolidating the future joint action.
Furthermore, Minister of State for the Gulf affairs in Saudi Arabia, Thamer al-Sabhan denied any Lebanese mediation between Saudi Arabia and Iran, led by the Lebanese President Michel Aoun.
He indicated that the aim of his recent meetings in Beirut is the fortification of Lebanon and the return of a normal political life.
Lebanon is searching for its aids
Despite the strained relationship between the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Lebanon, the Lebanese officials always asked for the Saudi military aid to Lebanon that was halted in February 2016 when Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil, Aoun’s son-in-law, refused to condemn Iranian attacks on Saudi diplomatic missions in Iran.
On November 12, the former Lebanese president, Michel Sleiman said on his Twitter official account that the Saudi aid to the Lebanese army will be resumed Sleiman’s statement comes in spite of the strained relationship between the two countries because of the Lebanese-Iranian rapprochement that ended with the election of Iran’s and Hezbollah’s ally Michel Aoun. However, the Lebanese local media said Sleiman’s tweet came in parallel with a Lebanese tendency to regain Saudi Arabia as an ally.
So, there were media reports that the new Lebanese president will visit Saudi Arabia soon together with the foreign minister of the caretaker government and head of the Free Patriotic Movement, Gebran Bassil.
Although some sources denied these reports, but others said that this visit will be after the formation of the government and gaining the confidence of the parliament.
It is noteworthy that after the Lebanese president Michel Aoun met with the Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif earlier this month, the ambassadors of GCC made a visit to Saad Hariri to restore the warmth of Lebanon’s relations with its brotherly countries in the GCC.