Upon the invitation of the Saudi Ministry of Culture and Saudi Ambassador to Lebanon Waleed Bukhari, an official Lebanese delegation comprised more than 100 political, media, artistic and social personalities, on Friday left Beirut heading to Saudi Arabia aboard two private jets, to partake in a concert by Lebanese singer Majid Roumi within the frame of "Winter at Tantora" festival.
The delegation included former presidents Amine Gemayel and Michel Sleiman, former Prime Minister Fouad Siniora, Caretaker Ministers Melhem Riachy (Information), Avedis Guidanian (Tourism), Marwan Hamade (Education and Higher Learning), and Mouein Merehbi (State Minister for the Affairs of the Displaced); it also comprised lawmakers Sami Fatfat, Wael Abu Faour and Dima Jamali, Editors' Syndicate Head Joseph Qosseifi, Beirut Governor Ziad Shbib, National News Agency Director Laure Sleiman, among others; artists Ragheb Alama, Walid Toufic, Najwa Karam, and Ousama Rahbani joined the delegation.
Speaking at Rafic Hariri International Airport upon departure, Minister Riachy indicated that Majida Roumi's concert was a "tremendous revolutionary step that merits heartfelt felicitations."
He explained that this event confirmed the communication and interaction between Lebanon and Saudi Arabia, and the expectation of a "new kingdom in 2025 that will be an additional force of moderation and Islamic-Christian collaboration."
For his part, Ambassador Bukhari indicated that Tantora festival was a paramount cultural gate in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
"Today is a turning point based on the importance of cultural communication between people," he said.
He also hailed the Lebanese-Saudi bilateral historic ties.
He added that "there is no travel ban prohibiting Saudis from travelling to Lebanon, but rather a warning related to several social and security factors."
"This will be reconsidered after the government formation," he said.
For his part, Kuwaiti Ambassador to Lebanon Abdul-Al Al-Qinae said that Saudi Arabia was keen, through this event, to bring the Lebanese closer to each other away from politics and sectarianism.
In turn, Emirati Ambassador Hamad al-Shamsi hoped that through this journey, the Lebanese would learn about historic regional and the civilization of Saudi Arabia.
Source: National News Agency