Saudi Arabia’s King Salman meets Lebanese PM in Riyadh

Lebanon’s Saad Hariri arrives in Saudi capital to attend second day of high-profile investment summit

Saudi Arabia’s King Salman meets Lebanese PM in Riyadh

Saudi Arabia’s King Salman bin Abdulaziz on Wednesday met with Lebanese Prime Minister-designate Saad Hariri in Riyadh to discuss bilateral ties and regional developments, according to the Saudi Press Agency (SPA).

Hariri arrived in Riyadh on Wednesday morning to attend the second day of a high-profile investment conference that kicked off in the Saudi capital one day earlier.

Hours before leaving Beirut, Hariri praised the measures taken by Saudi Arabia regarding the recent murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, who, Saudi officials admitted last week, had been killed inside the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul early this month.

Organized by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund, the three-day conference now underway in Riyadh is aimed at luring investment to the oil-rich kingdom, which has long sought to diversify its economy away from petroleum. 

Due to the ongoing furor over Khashoggi’s death, several major financial players boycotted the event, including World Bank President Jim Yong Kim, Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi, billionaire philanthropist Patrick Soon-Shiong, and British tycoon Richard Branson. 

Khashoggi, a columnist for the Washington Post, was last seen on Oct. 2 when he entered the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul. 

On Sunday, Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir admitted that Khashoggi had been killed inside the consulate, but insisted that Mohamed bin Salman -- Saudi Arabia’s high-profile crown prince -- had been unaware of the plot to murder the journalist. 

Al-Jubeir has also posited the notion that the killing was carried out by “rogue” elements of the Saudi security apparatus.

On Tuesday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan rejected official Saudi narratives of Khashoggi’s demise, claiming to have "strong evidence" that the murder was planned and executed by the Saudi authorities.