New Saudi ambassador to Lebanon formally takes charge


BEIRUT: Saudi Ambassador to Lebanon Walid Al-Yaacoub presented his credentials to Lebanese President Michel Aoun on Wednesday.

The ceremony took place less than two weeks after the Lebanese Foreign Ministry informed the relevant authorities in the Kingdom of their decision to approve the designation of Fawzi Kabbara as Lebanese ambassador to Saudi Arabia.

Future Movement MP Ammar Houri told Arab News that this step “is clear proof that Lebanese-Saudi relations are solid and the two sides insist on maintaining the best relations.”

He also said that the Kingdom’s commitment to a permanent ambassador with full powers in Beirut “amid the current conditions in the region is a positive step in promoting relations with Lebanon.”

On arrival of Ambassador Al-Yaacoub at the Presidential Palace, the requisite ceremonies were held and the Saudi flag was raised alongside the Lebanese flag. Al-Yaacoub was one of five ambassadors who presented their credentials to President Aoun.

The Lebanese president’s press office said that the ambassadors who presented their credentials have assured Aoun that “they are working to promote relations between Lebanon and their countries” and stressed “Lebanon’s concern to promote bilateral relations in different fields.”

The new Saudi ambassador was born in Hail in 1975 and received a bachelor’s degree in political science from King Saud University in Riyadh. He then joined the Foreign Ministry and received a higher education diploma from the ministry’s Institute of Diplomatic Studies.

He later joined the diplomatic service and became an adviser. He worked in the Saudi Embassy in Beirut between 2010 and 2014 and in the Saudi Embassy in Paris between 2014 and 2017.

He has also worked with the minister of state for Arab Gulf affairs and was responsible for the Lebanese desk.

The Saudi diplomat paid a visit to Lebanese Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri and said afterward that the visit was “according to protocol.” He added: “Things are good. Think positive and you will get positive.”

He also made a protocol visit to Prime Minister Saad Hariri.
Al-Yaacoub on Tuesday presented his credentials to Lebanese Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil.

In late August 2016, the adviser Walid Al-Bukhari was appointed charge d’affaires at the Saudi Embassy in Beirut, after the retirement of Ali bin Saeed Al-Awwad Al-Asiri.

Since then, no new ambassador had been appointed until the beginning of February 2017 when Al-Yaacoub was appointed.

He had not, however, presented his credentials to the Lebanese government. At the end of 2017, the Kingdom sent the Lebanese Foreign Ministry an official letter announcing its approval of Kabbara as Lebanese ambassador to Saudi Arabia.

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