French Ambassador to Lebanon Emmanuel Bonne, left, gestures as French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault, stands next to him at the Mediterranean popular waterfront promenade in Beirut, Lebanon, Thursday, Dec. 22, 2016. (AP Photo/Hussein Malla)
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Saudi Deputy Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman bin Abdul-Aziz congratulated Prime Minister Saad Hariri on the formation of the Cabinet Thursday and told him Riyadh was keen to develop bilateral ties with Beirut.Meanwhile, French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault met Hariri and other Lebanese leaders during a visit to Lebanon in a show of support from France to the new administration in Beirut. Ayrault also congratulated Hariri on the formation of the Cabinet and expressed France's full support to Lebanon.Ayrault also shed light on the fate of a $3 billion arms deal that saw Lebanon purchase arms from France through funding from Saudi Arabia.Hariri separately met with United Nations Special Coordinator for Lebanon Sigrid Kaag and Deputy Special Coordinator for Lebanon Philippe Lazzarini.The United Nations looks forward to the timely conduct of the parliamentary elections next year for which we continue to provide support and assistance".She also expressed confidence that the election of Aoun and the formation of the Cabinet would mark a new chapter in Lebanon that would benefit the people and reinforce stability and security. Minister of State for Administrative Development Einaya Ezzeddine, the new Cabinet's only female minister, assumed her post as minister from Former Minister Nabil de Freij.Agriculture Minister Ghazi Zeaiter also assumed his ministerial position from former Minister Akram Chehayeb.
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