Saudi Foreign Minister Saud Al-Faisal (R) speaks during a joint news conference with Algeria's Foreign Minister Ramtane Lamamra in Riyadh April 15, 2014. (REUTERS/Faisal Al Nasser)
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A long-awaited Saudi-Iranian rapprochement is likely to reflect positively on the unstable situation in Lebanon by helping to defuse sectarian and political tensions linked to the war in Syria and accelerating the election of a new president, analysts and experts said Thursday."Of course, a Saudi-Iranian rapprochement will help ease political and sectarian tensions in Lebanon and hasten efforts to elect a neutral president," Nader told The Daily Star.He said a thaw in Saudi-Iranian ties would also eventually encourage former Prime Minister Saad Hariri, who has been living abroad for nearly three years for security reasons, to return to Lebanon to head a new government after the election of a new president. Iranian Ambassador to Lebanon Ghazanfar Roknabadi said last month that there has been a breakthrough in tense relations between Iran and Saudi Arabia that would have a positive impact on all regional issues.Saudi Arabia has long been wary of Iran's influence in the region. In Lebanon, Saudi Arabia and Iran also support opposing sides.Shafik Masri, professor of international law at the Lebanese and American universities, said an improvement in Saudi-Iranian ties would reflect positively on the situation in Lebanon by de-escalating tensions and clearing the way for the election of a new president acceptable to the rival factions.
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