Saudi Ambassador to Lebanon Ali Awad Asiri attends a meeting in Beirut, Wednesday, April 15, 2015. (The Daily Star/Mohammad Azakir)
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Saudi Ambassador to Lebanon Ali Awad Asiri sought Sunday to defuse tension with Hezbollah over the Saudi-led military intervention in Yemen, voicing hope that the kingdom's relations with all Lebanese parties would be calm in the coming stage.In what appeared to be a response to Hezbollah's accusations that the kingdom was blocking the election of a Lebanese president, Asiri said Saudi Arabia did not and would not meddle in Lebanon's internal affairs.Asiri last month rebutted Nasrallah's claim that Saudi Arabia, through an alleged veto put by Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal on MP Michel Aoun's presidential bid, was blocking the presidential vote.However, Hezbollah's deputy chief Sheikh Naim Qassem accused Saudi Arabia of blocking the presidential election. A new Parliament session to elect a president has been set for May 13 .For his part, Maronite Patriarch Beshara Rai urged rival Lebanese factions to quickly elect a president. Former MP Ghattas Khoury, a political adviser to Hariri, said the ex-premier's U.S. visit was primarily aimed at seeking support for Lebanese security institutions and distancing Lebanon from the repercussions of regional turmoil, as well as discussing the means to facilitating the election of a president.
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