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Riyadh's shifting Beirut policy

Recent decisions and a series of measures adopted by Saudi Arabia all point to a clear change in the way the kingdom will be handling relations with Lebanon.
Lebanese army soldiers stand next to displayed weapons that they received during a ceremony at Beirut airport airbase April 20, 2015. The first shipment of French weapons and military equipment arrived in Lebanon on Monday under a Saudi-funded deal worth $3 billion to bolster the Lebanese army's fight against militants encroaching from neighboring Syria. (From L to R) The national flags of Saudi Arabia, Lebanon and France are displayed during the ceremony. REUTERS/Mohamed Azakir  - RTX19H2B
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BEIRUT — When King Salman bin Abdul-Aziz Al Saud came to power in Saudi Arabia on Jan. 23, he made changes to the government and princely structure that were described as the biggest in Saudi history. This has raised questions on how Saudi internal developments will impact the regional landscape and Saudi foreign ties.

Observers and analysts agree that only time will tell whether Saudi Arabia’s foreign policy, particularly with the regional countries, will be affected by these changes. The first indicator portending a change in foreign policy was seen on April 29, when Salman made new and highly significant appointments that exempted Prince Muqrin bin Abdul-Aziz from the posts of crown prince and deputy prime minister, to which he was appointed in January.

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