The Saudi embassy in Lebanon on Saturday held an iftar (meal to break the Ramadan fast) banquet attended by Lebanon’s diplomats, representing a mix of political parties and all sectarian components in the country.
Among the attendees were Lebanese Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri and Saudi envoy Nizar Al Alula.
Saudi Charge d'Affaires in Lebanon Walid al-Bukhari welcomed the invitees, saying: "Welcome to the House of Saudi Arabia in Lebanon, home of all the Lebanese."
On the occasion, Hariri said: “This Saudi home brings together all the Lebanese and does not differentiate between them … What Saudi Arabia wants from the Lebanese is to remain unified and preserve our Arabism and our commitment to the Taif agreement."
He called on Lebanon to distance itself from problems in the region and to protect the country’s Arab identity, in a reference to the Iranian-backed Hezbollah and its creeping influence in Lebanese politics.
"Saudi Arabia’s history with Lebanon is full of greatness and love, and we cooperate with all the honorable people in the country to honor this history and adhere to the best relations with brotherly Arab countries. Interference in our internal affairs, and we are required in return to distance ourselves from interfering in the affairs of brotherly countries, and to consider the Arabism of Lebanon a red line that can not be avoided. "
He added: "The history of the Kingdom with Lebanon is full of good and love, and we cooperate with all the honorable people in the country on our time to honor this history and our adherence to the best relations with the brotherly Arab countries. Gulf Arab states have stood by Lebanon in its weakest moments, without interference in our internal affairs. In return, we are required to distance ourselves [from regional problems] and to consider the Arabism of Lebanon a red line that cannot be overstepped."