Middle East

Melting ice, newly elected Lebanese president visits Saudi

Lebanon's newly elected President Michel Aoun will meet with the Saudi king during his first visit to the kingdom. The meeting could melt the ice between the two countries after relations became strained over divisions on Iran.

State news agency SPA said that Aoun, who arrived on Monday with eight ministers, was received by Riyadh governor Prince Faisal bin Bandar Al Saud. He will meet the king on Tuesday.

Aoun was elected in October 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. In February, Saudi halted a $3 billion arms deal with Lebanon, a decision linked to the kingdom's tensions with Iran.