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Lebanon's Hariri Says He Will Return Home in Two Days
14 November 2017, 04:06 | Erica Roy
Israel and Saudi Arabia do not have diplomatic ties but have a shared interest in countering Iran
Ariel Schalit AP
Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz met Tuesday with Lebanon's Christian Maronite Patriarch Beshara al-Rai in the capital Riyadh.
The landmark meeting tackled fraternal relations between the Kingdom and Lebanon and confirmed the importance of the role of different religions and cultures in promoting tolerance, renouncing violence, extremism and terrorism and achieving security and peace for the peoples of the region and the world.
Lebanon's Christian Maronite Patriarch Bechara Boutros Al-Rai met on Tuesday in Saudi Arabia with Saad al-Hariri, who announced his resignation as Lebanon's prime minister from Riyadh on November 4, according to Saudi-owned al-Arabiya TV.
No details were given about the content of the talks during the two meetings.
Amid "the state of deadlock" in Lebanon following the resignation of its prime minister, the prelates said they were concerned that he had not yet returned to Lebanon, stressing that this was "necessary for the sake of dignity, sovereignty and stability".
Maronites number about 900,000 in Lebanon, around a quarter of the population.
Top Lebanese government officials and senior politicians close to Hariri believe Saudi Arabia coerced him into quitting and has been holding him against his will ever since, though Hariri and Riyadh have denied this.
In his resignation speech, Hariri cited fear of an assassination plot backed by Iran, and sternly criticized the Islamic Republic and its Lebanese terror proxy Hezbollah for fueling conflict throughout the Middle East.
Lebanese President Michel Aoun has yet to formally accept Hariri's resignation and has said he wants to meet him in person to discuss the situation.
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