Jumblatt in Riyadh for talks

Lebanese opposition leader Walid Jumblatt has arrived in Riyadh from Kuwait on the second stop of a three-nation tour that will also take him to Russia.

    Jumblatt will meet Saudi Crown Prince Abd Allah on Saturday

    Close aide and former minister Ghazi Aridi, who is accompanying Jumblatt along with Nima Tuma, told AFP on Saturday the group had come to discuss with Saudi leaders the situation in Lebanon and to hear the kingdom's position.

    He said they would meet Saudi Crown Prince and de facto ruler Abd Allah bin Abd al-Aziz later in the day.

    Prince Abd Allah urged Syrian President Bashar al-Asad during his visit to the kingdom on Thursday to pull his troops out of Lebanon "rapidly" in accordance with UN Security Council demands, a Saudi official said.

    Jumblatt flew to Riyadh after visiting Kuwait on a trip organised by the office of Kuwaiti Prime Minister Shaikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Sabah, diplomatic sources in the emirate said. 

    Jumblatt, Aridi and Tuma were off limits to the press in Kuwait.

    Jumblatt, MP from Chouf, had remained at his mountain home for security reasons since the 14 February assassination of ex-premier Rafiq al-Hariri.

    US-led demands for the implementation of Resolution 1559, passed by the Security Council last September, have intensified since al-Hariri's assassination, an attack widely blamed on Syria.



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