BEIRUT: The Saudi Arabian ambassador to Lebanon said Monday that the two countries have profound bonds, condemning the exaggeration of recent events in Lebanon, the National News Agency reported.
“The Lebanese-Saudi links are deep and historical, and what links the kingdom to Lebanon is a human relationship more than a political one,” said Ambassador Ali Awad Asiri, receiving a tourist media delegation of Saudi women at his embassy in Beirut.
He said that recent security events must not be exaggerated, according to NNA’s report.
Asiri praised the delegation’s role and efforts, saying that “it reflects the role of Saudi women and their status in Saudi society, as well as their success in education, commerce and media.”
He also urged the delegation to make the most of its trip to Lebanon. “We hope this visit will enhance cultural communication and commercial trade.”
Comprised of business women and female journalists, the Saudi delegation is currently on a visit to Lebanon to launch the summer tourism season by going on tours across the country and conducting interviews with political figures.
The visit will be broadcast across the kingdom in order to promote tourism in Lebanon.
Prime Minister Tammam Salam told the delegation that the situation in Lebanon was stable and reiterated the readiness of the security forces to handle terror threats.
The delegation visited Interior Minister Nouhad Machnouk, who said “the situation in Lebanon is stable and security forces are watchful about maintaining this security.”
Machnouk hailed the Saudi delegation’s decision to stay in Lebanon despite the recent events. “They will project the real image of the stable Lebanese situation,” he said.
The delegation also stopped at the Tourism Ministry, where they met Minister Michel Pharaon. The latter said the Saudi women “will return to the kingdom as Lebanese ambassadors to tell what they will have seen, especially after an internal consensus was achieved to preserve security in Lebanon.”
Pharaon said that individual terrorism exists all over the world, and that “no tourist has ever been threatened [in Lebanon] for the past 20 years.”
“We miss Saudi citizens and we hope to welcome them this summer,” he added.