Head of Hizbullah’s Political Bureau Sayyed Ibrahim Amin Sayyed said on Thursday that President Michel Aoun’s trip to Saudi Arabia is a “regular” step as part of Lebanon’s duties since the country is in the Arab States League, media reports said Thursday.
“President of the Republic’s visit to Saudi Arabia is a normal and regular procedure because Lebanon is within the Arab States’ League,” said Sayyed from Tehran, adding “I believe the President will have similar visits to other Arab and non Arab countries.”
Aoun took his first foreign trip as President on Monday where he traveled on head of a delegation to SA and met King Salman bin Abdul Aziz.
On the Saudi aid package to provide military assisstance for the Lebanese army, he said: “We have noticed some positions as for equipping the army with weapons from Saudi Arabia. There is an understanding with France in that regard. Saudi Arabia has backed down for political reasons.”
Sayyed stressed the need for providing the army with weapons to counter extremist groups whether through assistance from Saudi Arabia or other states.
Saudi Arabia halted a $3 billion arms deal with Lebanon in February and banned Saudis and other Gulf nationals from traveling there after what the Saudis described as Beirut’s failure to condemn attacks on Saudi missions in Iran by demonstrators angered by the kingdom’s execution of a prominent Shiite cleric.
Weeks later, Lebanon abstained from an Arab League vote branding Hizbullah a terrorist organization. Hizbullah is fighting alongside President Bashar Assad’s forces in Syria, while Saudi Arabia and other Arab countries support the rebels.
Aoun said he discussed the arms deal with Saudi officials, without elaborating. Reports have also said that “the decision about the return of the tourists has been taken.”
Reports added that the Saudi king has promised to review the restoration of the aid package to the Lebanese army but without giving a timetable.