Saudi Arabia invites Lebanese president to visit the kingdom

BEIRUT (AP) " Saudi Arabia on Monday invited the newly elected Lebanese president to visit the oil-rich kingdom.

Saudi Prince Khaled al-Faisal told reporters after meeting President Michel Aoun at Baabda Palace near Beirut that the president has accepted the invitation and agreed to visit after a new Cabinet is formed in Lebanon.

Aoun was elected last month after a 29-month vacuum in the country's top post. Lebanon's political factions are deeply divided, with some, like Aoun's Christian party and the Hezbollah militant group, aligning with Iran and their opponents siding with Saudi Arabia.

Prime Minister-designate Saad Hariri, a close ally of Saudi Arabia, is working on forming a new Cabinet

In February, Saudi Arabia halted a $3 billion arms deal with Lebanon, a decision linked to the kingdom's tensions with Iran. Iran and Hezbollah support Syrian President Bashar Assad, while Saudi Arabia backs the rebels trying to topple him.

This story has been automatically published from the Associated Press wire which uses US spellings

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