BEIRUT: Prime Minister Tammam Salam has praised Saudi Arabia for its role in supporting Lebanon ahead of a trip to Riyadh to discuss a number of issues, including the presidential election crisis.
“ Saudi Arabia has always been and still is a key supporter of Lebanon,” Salam said in remarks published Friday.
He also thanked Saudi King Abdullah for his “generous” financial support for the Lebanese Army.
In December last year, Riyadh granted Lebanon $3 billion to purchase military equipment from France. However, the deal has not yet been finalized, with negotiations ongoing with Paris over the purchase.
Salam is set to embark on his first official tour since he assumed office in February with a visit to Riyadh Monday.
Sources close to the premier told The Daily Star that Salam would meet top Saudi government officials.
"I will hold important meetings with a number of officials in Saudi Arabia Tuesday,” Salam told Saudi daily Okaz.
He said the two sides would discuss a number of issues of common interest as well as regional developments.
Salam also thanked Saudi Arabia for lifting a travel ban on Lebanon.
Riyadh has lifted a nearly two-year travel advisory for Lebanon.
"Saudi citizens will receive all the care and attention of the Lebanese,” Salam said.