Saudi Armed Forces Chief of the General Staff General Fayyadh bin Hamid Al-Ruwaili received Thursday Lebanese Army Commander Brigadier General Joseph Aoun and the accompanying delegation.
The two reviewed during the meeting prospects of military cooperation and means of further bolstering joint ties, in addition to issues of mutual interest, the Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported.
General Al-Ruwaili conferred the King Abdulaziz Medal Excellence Medal on the Lebanese Army Commander, following an order of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques.
General Joseph Aoun left Beirut Tuesday for an official visit to Saudi Arabia at the request of his Saudi counterpart, an Army statement reported.
The trip aims to strengthen bilateral ties between the two countries’ armies and share military expertise, the statement said.
Saudi-Lebanese military relations have been rocky in recent years, with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia cancelling in 2016 a $3 billion aid package for the Lebanese Army after Lebanon voted against an Arab League decision to designate Hezbollah a terrorist organization and against suspending Syria’s membership in the Arab League, The Daily Star reported.
However, since the election of President Michel Aoun later in 2016, ties with Saudi Arabia have improved. And at the Rome II Conference in 2018, a senior Saudi official called for increasing support for the Lebanese Army as the sole legitimate power of defense in the country, the Lebanese daily added.