Aloula visits the grave of Rafik Hariri. (The Daily Star/Hasan Shaaban)
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Prime Minister Saad Hariri said Monday he would visit Saudi Arabia soon after he was officially invited during a meeting with a high-ranking Saudi envoy, the first between the premier and a senior Saudi official since Hariri's resignation crisis last year. The envoy, Nizar al-Aloula, met with Hariri at the Grand Serail shortly after he had talks with President Michel Aoun at Baabda Palace focusing on improving Lebanese-Saudi relations, which have soured since Hariri's shock resignation from Riyadh on Nov. 4 . Hariri said he received an official invitation from Aloula to visit the kingdom and he had accepted it, promising to make the visit "as soon as possible".Aloula pointed out that Saudi Arabia and Lebanon have always been in agreement.Aoun told the Saudi delegation that Lebanon is seeking the best relations with Saudi Arabia. Aloula is the first high-ranking Saudi official to visit Lebanon since Hariri's resignation announced from Riyadh put Lebanese-Saudi relations under strain after Aoun accused the kingdom of detaining the prime minister against his will.
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