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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)
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.