Economic cooperation boosts Lebanon-Saudi ties

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman
Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman received Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri last April. During the visit, Hariri said he expected Lebanon to sign economic deals with Saudi Arabia soon. © All rights reserved

Economic cooperation between Lebanon and Saudi Arabia are set to take-off. More than twenty agreements are set to be signed by both companies following the formation of a new government, said Walid Al-Bukhari, charge d’affaires, at the Saudi Embassy in Beirut.

“Saudi Arabia is willing to bolster its ties with Lebanon in various fields, and the kingdom wants to build with Lebanon, a relation based on mutual respect and common interests,” said Bukhari.

His remarks on economic cooperation between the countries came during a lunch organized by Lebanese-Saudi Business Council in Chouf, which was attended by Lebanese and Saudi businessmen residing in the country.

During this event, Raouf Abu Zaki, Al Iktissad Wal Aamal Group’s chairman, called on Saudi entrepreneurs to come see Lebanon and invest in the country.

“It is time to restore normal and complete ties with the kingdom, in terms of tourism and investment, which will benefit the two countries,” said Zaki.

The upturn in diplomatic and economic ties come in the wake Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri visiting Saudi Arabia in April wherein, as per his words, he held an “excellent” meeting with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman; during the visit, he had said, he expected Lebanon to sign economic deals with Saudi Arabia soon.

“We will see very soon certain agreements that will be signed with Saudi Arabia vis-a-vis different sectors of the economy, whether it is industry, and tourism and services,” said Hariri during a news conference in Beirut without providing any further details at that time.

Economic cooperation between the two countries had been hit last November, with the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Bahrain warning their citizens against traveling to Lebanon, due to a Saudi-Lebanese crisis.

Lebanon’s tourism had seen a slowdown due to this factor, especially during the summer season.