Lebanon Patriarch meets Saudi king, Hariri in Riyadh


Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz met Tuesday with Lebanon's Christian Maronite Patriarch Beshara al-Rai in the capital Riyadh.

The meeting tackled "brotherly" relations between Saudi Arabia and Lebanon, the official Saudi SPA news agency reported.

The two leaders underlined the importance of the role of religions and cultures in promoting tolerance, renouncing violence, extremism and terrorism and achieving security and peace, SPA said.

The Lebanese Patriarch also held two separate meetings with Saudi Crown Prince Mohamed bin Salman and resigned Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri.

No details were given about the content of the talks during the two meetings.

Maronites number about 900,000 in Lebanon, around a quarter of the population.

The Lebanese Patriarch arrived in Saudi Arabia on Monday for a historic visit to the Sunni kingdom.

The visit comes amid uproar over a surprise resignation announced by Hariri last week during a televised speech from Saudi Arabia.

The resignation has yet to be accepted by Lebanese President Michel Aoun.

In his resignation address, Hariri criticized Iran and its Lebanese ally, Hezbollah, accusing them of sowing "sedition" in the region and meddling in Arab affairs.

Earlier this week, Hariri denied allegations that he was being held by Saudi Arabia, saying that he would return soon to Beirut.

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