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Hariri: Tensions with Gulf Countries Gone for Good | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Hariri meeting GCC ambassadors on Monday in Beirut/National News Agency

Beirut- Prime Minister-designate Saad Hariri asserted on Monday that past tensions that distorted the Lebanese-Gulf relations are gone forever.

“The tensions in our fraternal relations which are based on the full respect of the sovereignty of our states and their interests and the interests of their citizens, our brothers in the Gulf cooperation Council countries, are gone forever,” Hariri said during a meeting with ambassadors of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) at his residence in Beirut.

Hariri asserted that the election of general Michel Aoun as president of the republic, and the government that is being formed, represent an opportunity to re-emphasize Lebanon’s Arab identity and restore the warmth to Lebanon’s relations with its brotherly countries in the GCC.

After meeting with the ambassadors, Hariri said: “The Lebanese unanimously welcomed the inaugural speech of President Aoun with all its terms, including those related to Lebanon’s Arab relations which are based on the respect for the Arab League Charter, particularly article 8 that prevents the interference of the member states in each others affairs.

Hariri added that the GCC countries constitute the vital economic space for Lebanon, because they provide job opportunities for the Lebanese, markets for their exports, sources of direct investments in Lebanon and are essential for tourism in Lebanon.

“The Gulf governments and development funds are, as well, the first source of assistance and facilitated financing for projects of reconstruction and development in Lebanon,” the newly nominated prime minister said.

Hariri hoped the international community will help Lebanon cope with the difficulties of the Syrian refugees crisis and revitalize its economy, knows that the first “engine” of this assistance was and will remain the GCC, its countries, governments and leaders.

After the ambassadors’ meeting with Hariri, Kuwaiti Ambassador Abdul-Aal Al-Kinai said: “We stressed that our states stand by Lebanon in everything that would lead to its prosperity, progress, security and stability”.

Al-Kinai said GCC countries expressed their support for President Michel Aoun and Hariri, hoping that he will be able to form the government as soon as possible, and fulfill the aspirations of all honest Lebanese citizens to security, stability and economic prosperity.