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Lebanon seeks Saudi Arabia's help to defeat terrorism   

Arab News - 11 January, 2017

Michel Aoun, who arrived here Monday on his first foreign trip since becoming Lebanon's president in October, said he came to the Kingdom to dispel recent misunderstandings in bilateral relations.

Aoun, whose delegation included senior ministers, met King Salman Tuesday and held official talks at Al-Yamamah Palace.

The two leaders reviewed bilateral relations and ways of enhancing them in various fields, and discussed the latest Arab and international developments.

Aoun told Al-Ekhbariya TV that supporting the Lebanese army would be among the issues covered.

“We need cooperation with Saudi Arabia and other countries in the fight against terrorism,” he said, adding that security and stability had been maintained in Lebanon.

Citing the 1989 Taif Accord that ended Lebanon’s civil war, Aoun expressed hope that neighboring countries would adopt political solutions to end conflicts.

The Lebanese delegation held talks with various ministers. Aoun met with Minister of Culture and Information Adel Al-Toraifi to review bilateral cooperation in information and culture.

The president also met Commerce and Investment Minister Majid Al-Qassabi to discuss ways to develop economic and trade relations.

Al-Qassabi was quoted as saying at the end of the meeting that Lebanon is an integral part of the Arab world whose stability and security consolidate those of the region.

Finance Minister Mohammed Al-Jadaan met his Lebanese counterpart Ali Hassan Khalil at King Saud Palace, and discussed issues of common interest in economics and finance, and ways to enhance them.

Talks between Al-Toraifi and his Lebanese counterpart Melhem Riachy focused on the media sector in both countries and ways to bolster it.

Al-Qassabi also received Lebanese Minister of Economy and Trade Raed Khoury at King Saud Palace.

They discussed investment opportunities between the two countries, especially in agriculture, and the development of the food industry. They described the talks as positive.

Earlier, sources told Asharq Al-Awsat, a sister publication of Arab News, that the Saudi-Lebanese talks would tackle key issues including Saudi deposits, double-taxation rules, facilitating transfers between the two countries, and joint cooperation in the health sector.
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