File - Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman, right, receives Prime Minister Saad Hariri in Riyadh, Monday, Oct. 30, 2017. (The Daily Star/SPA, HO)
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Prime Minister Saad Hariri Friday night capped his three-day official visit to Riyadh with a much-anticipated meeting with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman, centering on bolstering Lebanese-Saudi ties, strained since Hariri's resignation crisis last year.The meeting with Prince Mohammad came two days after Hariri had met with Saudi King Salman bin Abdul Aziz shortly after his arrival in Riyadh Wednesday on his first visit to the kingdom since November.Hariri received a lavish welcome traditionally given to heads of state on his arrival at the Yamama Palace in Riyadh for a meeting with King Salman. He had discussed with the king ways to boost Lebanese-Saudi relations, which have been soured since Hariri announced his shock resignation, later rescinded, from Riyadh on Nov. 4 .The kingdom's renewed confidence in Hariri as the undisputed Sunni Muslim leader in Lebanon came as the country is gearing up to hold the first parliamentary elections in nine years on May 6 .Aloula, who had met with President Michel Aoun, Speaker Nabih Berri and Hariri during his two-day visit to Beirut this week, was the first high-ranking Saudi official to visit Lebanon since Hariri's resignation put Lebanese-Saudi relations under strain after Aoun accused the kingdom of detaining the prime minister against his will.
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