Hariri receives Satterfield and UNCTAD delegation, chairs preparatory meeting for Lebanese Saudi Higher Committee

The President of the Council of Ministers Saad Hariri chaired today at the Grand Serail part of the coordination meeting of the technical delegation, consisting of directors-general and representatives of all concerned ministries, who will visit Saudi Arabia on March 10 and 11 to prepare for the meeting of the Lebanese-Saudi Joint Higher Committee, which will be chaired by the Saudi Minister of Finance Mohammed Al-Jadaan and the Lebanese Minister of Economy and Trade Mansour Bteish.

The aim of the visit is to discuss cooperation issues between the two countries and to finalize the draft agreements and memoranda of understanding proposed by the two sides, in preparation for holding the Joint Higher Committee and the visit of Prime Minister Hariri to the Kingdom to sponsor the signing of the agreements.

Premier Hariri said at the beginning of the meeting: "We attach great hopes on your efforts and we hope that you will prepare the draft agreements needed to develop and strengthen the relations between Lebanon and the Kingdom, for the interest of Lebanon. You know the depth of the relationship between our two countries, what the Kingdom has done for Lebanon and what the Lebanese have offered to the Kingdom. Nevertheless new agreements and memoranda of understanding must be signed that reflect the aspirations of the two countries and the scope of opportunities for cooperation."

He added: "You see the attacks against the state and its administrations. I want you to show people how you work efficiently and the efforts you exert silently through your positions to support the course of the country as a whole, despite being exposed to words that hurt you and me as well.

I know that there is squander and corruption in some places, and we are working with you to combat this scourge and eliminate it. You proved your ability in this regard and worked for the benefit of the country. I stand by you and we must work hand in hand, and day and night, to make our work succeed, because it will support the national economy. You noticed the positive impact that the lifting of the ban on the visit of Saudis to Lebanon has had, and how they came by larger numbers. We want to facilitate this and activate it through the expected agreements between the two countries."

On the other hand, Hariri received Acting US Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs David Satterfield, accompanied by the US Ambassador to Lebanon Elizabeth Richard, in the presence of former minister Ghattas Khoury.

The meeting focused on the situation in Lebanon and the region and the bilateral relations. Discussions continued over lunch.

Hariri also received a delegation from the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) led by its Director of the Investment and Enterprise Division James Zhan. Zhan is currently visiting Lebanon on the occasion of the launching of the investment review report in Lebanon tomorrow during a workshop held at the Grand Serail. The Chairman of the Investment Development Authority of Lebanon IDAL Nabil Itani attended the meeting.

Hariri later met with Deputy Prime Minister Ghassan Hasbani and discussed with him ministerial affairs and general conditions.

He also met with a delegation from the Financial Judiciary Audit Court headed by Judge Ahmad Hamdan, who presented to him the annual report issued by the Court.

Source: National News Agency