Saudi Arabia re-establishes diplomatic ties with Lebanon

Lebanese security forces stand guard outside the Saudi embassy in Beirut’s Hamra district, in this March 27, 2015 file photo. (AFP)

Saudi Arabia announced Thursday that it was returning its ambassador to Lebanon after a five-month break in ties.

In an official statement, the Foreign Ministry said it would re-appoint Ambassador Waleed Bukhari to Beirut “in response to the calls and appeals of moderate national political forces in Lebanon.”

It said Lebanese premier Najib Mikati had shown a commitment to cooperate more with Riyadh and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) to stop political, military and security activities affecting the country and the region.

“The Kingdom (of Saudi Arabia) stresses the importance of the return of the Republic of Lebanon to its Arab depth represented by its national institutions and origins, that Lebanon maintain security and peace,” it added.

The crisis between the two countries erupted in October 2021 when former Lebanese Information Minister George Kordahi criticized Saudi Arabia for its stance on Yemen.

In response, Riyadh, along with Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), suspended diplomatic and commercial ties with Lebanon, though the broken relations failed to recover even after Kordahi’s resignation.

Lebanese premier Mikati said last month that his country was committed to fixing strained ties with the GCC and Riyadh and that the activities of organizations based in Lebanon that threaten the sovereignty, security and stability of the GCC and Saudi Arabia should be halted.

This prompted a process of reconciliation between the conflicting sides as the Saudi Foreign Ministry welcomed the “positive points” of the premier’s statement.

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