Foreign Affairs and Expatriates Minister, Gebran Bassil, met in Riyadh with his Saudi counterpart Adel al-Jubeir, with whom he tackled bilateral relations and the situation in the region. The meeting was an occasion to utter joint confirmation of the historic relations between the two countries.
Jubeir said in the wake of the meeting "We welcome the visit of the Lebanese President and his accompanying delegation to Saudi Arabia, and we stress that relations between the Kingdom and Lebanon are historic and strong. There are familial and trade ties between us and an understanding with regard to the political situation between the two countries. We are striving to improve these relations in all fields to be in the best possible level. His Excellency the President held a productive meeting with the Custodian of the two Holy Mosques, King Salman bin Abdul Aziz, and I had the opportunity to met with the President today, then with my colleague and my friend, the Lebanese Foreign Minister, to go over various matters that concern the two countries and work on how to improve and strengthen them. I look forward to working with my counterpart, colleague and friend to restore bilateral relations between the two countries to the best possible standards."
Asked how the Kingdom plans to interpret its understanding of the concerns of Lebanon vis-a-vis the Syrian refugees issue, the Minister replied that "Saudi Arabia is one of the most supportive countries in terms of providing aid to Syrian refugees in several countries of the region, including Lebanon. It is keen that they live a decent life and be able to return to their homeland in the near future, God willing. The Kingdom seeks to support all the countries hosting a large number of refugees so as to help ease the burden they shoulder."
"Relations between Saudi Arabia and Lebanon are historic. They still exist and they always will. We strive to make better trade exchange and to intensify political consultation. We believe that Lebanon has overcome a difficult phase with the election of a president and the formation of a new government. We wish all the best for Lebanon, and we hope it will always be independent and free from foreign interference," Jubeir concluded in response to a question.
For his part, Minister Bassil stressed that "relations between Lebanon and Saudi things returned to normal (...) and this visit is to confirm that. We hope for permanent Lebanese-Saudi diplomatic coordination... I have invited the minister to visit Lebanon, and we hope Saudi officials and citizens would also visit our country which has always been and will always be a welcoming country for all its brothers, on top of them the Saudis."
Source: National News Agency