Sleiman awaited Saudi Arabia visit postponed

Sleiman awaited Saudi Arabia visit postponed
Mon Sep 30, 2013 18:48:03

Saudi diplomat has said that Beirut and Riyadh had consulted before making any decision to delay President Michel Sleiman’s visit to the kingdom.

Despite conflicting reports about the reasons behind Lebanese President Michel Sleiman's delay to visit Saudi Arabia are circulating, one issue is being confirmed: he will not visit the Kingdom and no date has been set in the near future.

Ali Awad Asiri, Saudi Ambassador to Lebanon said Monday both Beirut and Riyadh had consulted on the recent decision to postpone President Michel Sleiman’s visit to Saudi Arabia.

“The postponement of the visit [by Sleiman to Riyadh] was based on consultations between the Lebanese and Saudi leaderships,” Asiri said in a clarification statement in response to reports on Sleiman’s visit to Saudi Arabia, according to the National News Agency.

“[It was postponed to] a date in the [near future] that will be announced later,” Asiri said.

Sleiman had been scheduled to visit Riyadh Tuesday for talks with King Abdullah and other senior Saudi officials on the political crisis in Lebanon as well as security challenges facing the country as a result of the repercussions of the 30-month war in next-door Syria.

A statement released by the presidential palace said Sleiman’s visit was postponed to a date to be announced later. The terse statement did not give the reasons for the postponement.

But the March 8 parliamentary sources told The Daily Star Sunday that the postponement was apparently linked to a high-level Saudi-Iranian meeting next month and its positive impact on the Lebanese crisis.

Tehran however, has not confirmed any possible trip of Iranian officials, including President Hassan Rouhani to the kingdom.

One source in the Hezbollah-led alliance said the postponement came from the Saudi side.
It came a day after Asiri met Sleiman at Baabda Palace to discuss details of the visit.

A report issued by Al-Manar website quoted President Sleiman office said that the trip was postponed amid intense security situation in Lebanon.

The statement said that Sleiman followed up the security situation in the eastern city of Baalbek and the issue of Lebanese asylum-seekers whose boat sank off Indonesia on Friday, according to Al-Manar website.

“The president was briefed on the measures taken by the authorities to deal with the two issues,” it added.


string(871) "[{"id":"1468018","sort":"3099516","contenttypeid":"21","pic":"/2013/04/25/alalam_635025065387452309_25f_4x3.jpg","title":"Sleiman urges halt to weapons flow into Syria"} ,{"id":"1519008","sort":"3099517","contenttypeid":"21","pic":"/2013/09/22/alalam_635154466899411608_25f_4x3.jpg","title":"Iran, Lebanon presidents to hold talks in New York"} ,{"id":"1519245","sort":"3099518","contenttypeid":"21","pic":"/2013/09/22/alalam_635154635546623582_25f_4x3.jpg","title":"Lebanon parliament meeting boycotted for 5th time"} ,{"id":"1520092","sort":"3099519","contenttypeid":"21","pic":"/2013/09/25/alalam_635157053676101092_25f_4x3.jpg","title":"Lebanese Army not under Hezbollah control: Sleiman"} ,{"id":"1520392","sort":"3099520","contenttypeid":"21","pic":"/2013/09/26/alalam_635158154842482286_25f_4x3.jpg","title":"Lebanon issues arrest warrants for al-Nusra members"} ]"