Visiting Lebanese patriarch meets Saad Hariri in Saudi Arabia

This handout picture released by the press office of Lebanon’s Maronite Patriarchate shows Lebanon’s resigned prime minister Saad Hariri meeting with Lebanon’s Christian Maronite patriarch Bechara Al-Rahi in the Saudi capital Riyadh on November 14, 2017. (Lebanon’s Maronite Patriarchate press office via AFP)
Updated 15 November 2017
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Visiting Lebanese patriarch meets Saad Hariri in Saudi Arabia

RIYADH: Lebanon’s Patriarch Bechara Boutros Al-Rahi, head of the Maronite Church, met on Tuesday with Saad Hariri, who announced his resignation as Lebanon’s prime minister from Riyadh on Nov. 4.
Patriarch Al-Rahi is making a historic first visit to Saudi Arabia. He arrived in Riyadh on Monday evening and met with community members.
Before leaving Beirut, Al-Rahi said: “The Kingdom has long supported Lebanon … relations between us are based on friendship and brotherhood.”
“The Patriarch represents all the Patriarchs and Christians of the East. He is carrying a message of love and openness to Saudi Arabia, which is now witnessing further openness and positive changes,” Al-Rahi’s spokesman Walid Ghayyad told Arab News in Beirut on Monday.
Hariri announced his resignation in a television broadcast, saying he believed there was an assassination plot against him and accused Hezbollah of sowing strife in the Arab world.
Lebanese Ambassador to Saudi Arabia, Abdul Sattar Issa, said the patriarch’s visit demonstrated the important steps taken by Saudi Arabia to modernize its institutions and to reinforce perceptions of Islam as a religion of moderation.


Egyptian voters urged to allow El-Sissi rule until 2030

Updated 18 min 27 sec ago
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Egyptian voters urged to allow El-Sissi rule until 2030

  • Egyptian officials said the results should be ready in a week after the elections
  • Opposition parties asked voters to refuse the suggested changes

CAIRO: Egyptian pro-government media are urging a "Yes" vote on the second day of a nationwide referendum that would allow President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi to stay in power until 2030.
Polls reopened at 0700 GMT on Sunday. Voting will continue through Monday to allow maximum turnout, which the government hopes will lend the referendum legitimacy.
Election officials say results are expected within a week.
Opposition parties have called on voters to reject the changes, blasted by critics as a major step back to authoritarianism.
Voting comes amid an unprecedented crackdown on dissent since the 2013 military ouster of an elected but divisive president.
El-Sisi came to power in 2014 and was re-elected for a second four-year term last year.
Trucks with loudspeakers drove around central Cairo Sunday morning urging high turnout.