Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to Lebanon, Walid Al-Bukhari, arrived in Bkerki on Thursday morning to mark the centenary of the establishment of relations between Saudi Arabia and the Maronite Catholic Patriarchate in Lebanon.
In a speech marking the event, Al-Bukhari underlined his country’s relationship of “partnership and brotherhood” with Lebanon, calling for the conservation of mutual coexistence in the country.
He took the opportunity to urge Lebanese politicians to prioritize public interest and to refrain from throwing Lebanon into conflicts with its Arab neighbor.
For his part, Patriarch Bechara Boutros Al-Rahi said that he had sensed “the love of King Salman and Prince Mohammed bin Salman for Lebanon and their sadness at what the country is going through” during his latest visit to Saudi Arabia.
He hoped that this occasion leads to “a comprehensive national meeting” that would, in turn, lead to rescuing Lebanon, forming a government, and holding parliamentary and presidential elections on their constitutional dates.
The Maronite Patriarchate‘s ties with Saudi Arabia were established around 22 years before Lebanon’s independence in 1943, around the time the State of Greater Lebanon was declared in 1920.
The commemoration of the centenary of the birth of these ties comes 10 months after Lebanon celebrated the centenary of the declaration of Greater Lebanon.