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Hariri’s visit sign of Iranian-Saudi rapprochement

Saad Hariri's return to Lebanon coincided with a rapprochement between Iran and Saudi Arabia, and appears to be part of Riyadh's plan to invest in fighting terrorism and promoting moderate Islam.
Former prime minister Saad al-Hariri (R) speaks during a meeting with the members of the "14 March Alliance" as former President Amin Gemayel (2nd R) and Samir Geagea (2nd L), leader of the Christian Lebanese Forces listen in Beirut August 8, 2014. Al-Hariri returned to Lebanon on Friday for the first time in three years, on a visit seen as reasserting a moderate influence over the Sunni community following a deadly incursion by Islamist militants. REUTERS/Dalati Nohra/Handout via Reuters (LEBANON - Tags: P
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Saad Hariri’s return to Lebanon after a forced absence surprised Lebanon and the rest of the Arab world. It is significant in several ways and comes with wishes attached.

On the one hand, Hariri's visit coincides with the apparent development of a Saudi-Iranian rapprochement, which, if it lasts, could lead to a decrease in tensions in Syria, Yemen and Iraq. On the other hand, the political deadlock and deteriorating social and economic crises in Lebanon — and accompanying distress — have led many people to hang their hopes for Lebanon on Hariri's return, to which they lend many interpretations.

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