Hariri: Aoun’s visit to Saudi Arabia will reflect positively on the bilateral relations

Prime Minister Saad Hariri received this evening at the Grand Serail a delegation of Lebanese businessmen in Jeddah, in the presence of the Consul General of Lebanon in Jeddah Ziad Atallah and the head of the Lebanese Saudi Business Council Raouf Abu Zaki.

At the beginning of the meeting, Atallah congratulated Hariri on the formation of the government and said: “The Lebanese community in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is large, united, undivided, and has a full sense of national awareness and of belonging to Lebanon only.

We also congratulate you on the way the government dealt with the victims and their families after the Istanbul attack, which comforted all expatriates that they are not abandoned and that their state takes the necessary measures wherever they are”.

He added: “We wanted to inform today about the activities of the consulate and the community, and the latest was the establishment of a huge building for the consulate in Jeddah, funded by Lebanese and Saudis businessmen with a value of approximately 15 million dollars, which made it the most important mission of Lebanon abroad. And we hope that the relations between Lebanon and Saudi Arabia will regain their previous status and that Saudi nationals will be allowed to come to Lebanon”.

Hariri said: “Your presence in the Gulf is important and vital for Lebanon. You paid at some point the price of some political practices, but this division ended, and I will work so it does not come back. The country today is better, politically and even psychologically, and we hope that this reflects positively on all levels. I consider that President Michel Aoun’s visit to the Saudi Arabia will be significant, especially that the Kingdom attaches a lot of importance to it. The president also wanted it to be his first visit abroad, and this will reflect positively on you hopefully.

We will follow up on all things concerning the Lebanese diaspora, and will do whatever is needed to encourage all citizens to return to Lebanon, invest in it and work for it. We must work to restore the confidence of all Lebanese, and we are putting plans for the rehabilitation of various sectors of infrastructure, electricity, water, communication, hospitals, schools and others.

I would also like to thank the businessmen who participated in building the Lebanese consulate, and we as a country are trying to work on a program the Lebanese abroad would feel proud of, and want special relations with everyone, but within the framework of mutual respect.”

After the meeting, the head of the Lebanese community in Jeddah Samir Kreidieh said: “We thanked Prime Minister Hariri for his courageous stance in restoring political life in Lebanon. We praised his position yesterday at the airport, where we felt as Lebanese that there is a state supporting us .We also thanked him for his work to reinstate the Saudi- Lebanese relations to their former status and informed him about the situation of the Lebanese community in the Kingdom, which did not change the way it deals with us and we thank it for this”.

Hariri then met with the UAE Ambassador to Lebanon, Hamad Al Shamsi and discussed with him the situation in Lebanon and the region as well as bilateral relations between the two countries.

Congratulations message
Hariri sent a message to the new Secretary General of the United Nations, Antonio Guterres, congratulating him on his post.