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MONDAY, 21 APR 2014
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Riyadh backs national consensus in Lebanon: envoy
Saudi Ambassador to Lebanon Ali Awad Asiri is seen in Beirut, Monday, March 5, 2012. (The Daily Star/Mohammad Azakir)
Saudi Ambassador to Lebanon Ali Awad Asiri is seen in Beirut, Monday, March 5, 2012. (The Daily Star/Mohammad Azakir)
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BEIRUT: Saudi Arabia backs national consensus among Lebanese political rivals and supports holding the coming parliamentary elections on time, the Saudi ambassador to Lebanon said in remarks published Friday.

“The Saudi kingdom pushes for positive action toward national consensus in Lebanon in order to preserve civil peace,” Ali Awad Asiri, who spoke to As-Safir newspaper, said.

According to Asiri, top Saudi officials have expressed their keenness on Lebanon’s stability and have encouraged continued cooperation among its different factions to maintain it.

The Saudi envoy also said that the controversial electoral draft law for the coming elections was a local affair that his country refrains from interfering in.

He also hoped that a new law would meet the demands of the Lebanese in holding the elections on time.

“The electoral draft law is a local Lebanese issue and we hope that Lebanese political factions will reach an agreement that satisfies everyone and guarantees civil peace and helps meet the Lebanese desire to hold elections on time,” the official said.

“The best solution to the electoral crisis should be purely Lebanese: there is no need whatsoever to import solutions from abroad,” Asiri added.

The ambassador also denied any officials from his country had discussed the electoral law with Prime Minister Najib Mikati during the latter’s visit to the Saudi kingdom last week.

“The issue of the electoral draft law was not brought up at all during Mikati’s meetings with Saudi officials,” said Asiri.

Mikati was in Riyadh last week to attend the two-day Arab Economic and Social Development Summit.

The prime minister held talks with Saudi Crown Prince Salman bin Abdul Aziz and Foreign Minister Saud al-Faisal.

Saudi media reports said that talks between Mikati and the officials tackled “general issues” and were not in-depth talks on specific topics in Lebanese politics.

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