NNA – Prime Minister-designate Saad Hariri received this evening at the “Center House” the governor of Mecca region, Prince Khaled Al-Faisal, who is visiting Lebanon as an envoy of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdul Aziz, accompanied by the Saudi Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Nizar Madani and the Saudi charge d’affaires in Lebanon, Walid Al-Bukhari, in the presence of former MPs Bassem Sabeh and Ghattas Khoury and Hariri’s chief of staff Nader Hariri. The meeting focused on the latest developments in Lebanon and the region.
Afterwards, Hariri hosted a dinner in honor of Prince al-Faisal and the accompanying delegation, in the presence of a large number of political and religious figures.
Hariri said: “It is my pleasure to welcome your Highness, and the accompanying delegation, in Lebanon, in your house, the “Center House”, in this gathering national evening.
Your Highness, this national gathering, that I have the honor to host on the occasion of your visit, is an expression of the deep affection and respect that all Lebanese have for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, its people, its leadership, and the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdul Aziz.
Be assured your Highness, that all the guests came this evening to say that the relations of Lebanon and its people with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia are so deep and sincere that nothing can spoil them. This is the real message of the Lebanese, and this is their real conscience, towards the Kingdom, its people, its leadership and its king.
Your presence among us today also reaffirms the commitment of Saudi Arabia, its people and leadership, to the brotherly relations with all Lebanese, and its permanent sponsorship of Lebanon, the state of Lebanon, as the gathering representative of the will of all the Lebanese and their national decision.
The Lebanese, who just came out of a long presidential vacancy, and who are looking forward to complete their constitutional institutions, are encouraged by your visit to our country, because the Kingdom has always been the Kingdom of good, and played a positive role in stopping the civil war and reconstructing Lebanon later after it and after every Israeli aggression.
The timing of your visit with the accompanying delegation, on the eve of Independence Day, reflects the adherence of Saudi Arabia to Lebanon’s independence, sovereignty and prosperity. Just as the message of this evening is that Lebanon, which is attached to its Arab identity, is committed to all the issues upheld by the Kingdom, starting from the restoration of all Arab rights to the fight against extremism and terrorism in all its forms and names.
Welcome to your country, your home and among your people, welcome dear guests, long live Saudi Arabia and Lebanon.”
Prince Khaled Al-Faisal, for his part, said: “I am honored today to meet with Lebanon’s political, intellectual and economic leaders, in this blessed gathering this evening, on the eve of Lebanon’s Independence Day.
I convey to you the greetings of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdul Aziz, wishing you a blessed Independence Day, and a good start for a better future that Lebanon deserves, after this great struggle since its independence to this day and I ask God Almighty to grant a great future to a great people and wise leaders.
I came today to convey two messages from the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, to His Excellency President Michel Aoun. First to congratulate him on his election as president of the Republic of Lebanon, this great and big country in its leadership and people, and second to invite the president to visit Saudi Arabia. His Excellency accepted the invitation, and the visit should take place after the completion of the consultations to form the Lebanese government and his visit to the Kingdom will be the first to an Arab country.
I am proud of Lebanon and its people, because they always do everything for their great country, overcoming all obstacles, to prove to the whole world that there are no limits to the will and ability of Lebanon and its people to undertake the impossible. You prove this in every opportunity.
I would like to convey the wishes of every Saudi for Lebanon not to be an arena for Arab conflict but a meeting place for Arab accord.”
The dinner was attended by former Presidents Michel Sleiman and Amin Gemayel, Minister Ali Hassan Khalil representing Speaker Nabih Berri, Former Speaker Hussein Husseini, Caretaker Prime Minister Tammam Salam, Former Prime Ministers Najib Mikati and Fouad Siniora, Deputy Speaker Farid Makari, Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil, Head of the Democratic Gathering MP Walid Jumblatt, Head of the Lebanese Forces Samir Geagea, Head of Kataeb Party MP Sami Gemayel, Minister of Culture Roni Araiji representing the Head of the Marada Movement MP Sleiman Frangjieh, MP Bahia Hariri, Grand Mufti Sheikh Abdul Latif Derian, Maronite Archbishop of Beirut Boulos Matar representing Maronite Patriarch Mar Bechara Boutros al-Rai, Druze Sheikh Akl Sheikh Naim Hassan, Jaafari Mufti Sheikh Ahmed Kabalan representing the Vice President of the Higher Islamic Shiite Council Sheikh Abdul Amir Kabalan, Msgr. Jean Farah representing the Melkite Greek Catholic Patriarch Gregory III Laham and a number of ministers, MPs, Arab ambassadors in Lebanon as well as economic, political, social, media and religious figures.