World Bulletin / News Desk
In a statement issued by his office, Hariri said: “The main thing Saudi Arabia wants is that the government be drawn up as soon as possible with a view to supporting Lebanon and its economy.”
Saudi Arabia, he added, “did not -- and would not -- interfere in the process of forming the government, as this is an exclusively Lebanese affair”.
The statement went on to describe Hariri’s relationship with the Saudi leadership -- and with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman in particular -- as “excellent” and “brotherly”.
After parliamentary polls were held in May, Lebanese President Michel Aoun tasked Hariri -- Lebanon’s acting premier at the time -- with drawing up the country’s next government.
Since then, Lebanon’s main political parties and forces have remained in close consultations with a view to reaching agreement over the composition of the country’s incoming Cabinet.
Saudi Arabia, for its part, accuses Lebanon’s Hezbollah -- which is represented in Hariri’s government -- of serving as a proxy force for Iran, Riyadh’s arch-foe in the region.