FILE - In this May 11, 2018 file photo, Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri speaks to his supporters after his bloc won 21 seats in the parliamentary elections, in downtown Beirut, Lebanon. On Monday, June 11, 2018, Hariri criticized Gen. Qassem Soleimani, the head of Iran's elite fighting Quds Force for comments he reportedly made recently in which he praised Iran-backed Hezbollah and its allies for gaining more than half the seats of the 128-member parliament in the May 6 Lebanese elections. (AP Photo/Bilal Hussein, File) Image Credit: AP

Manama: Lebanon greatly appreciates the full support provided by Saudi Arabia to maintain its security and stability and to improve its economy in order to meet various challenges, Prime Minister-designate Sa’ad Hariri has said.

The Lebanese view with satisfaction that Saudi Arabia continues to stand by Lebanon in all circumstances and appreciate the keenness of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman on full support to the Mediterranean country, he added.

The policies of Prince Mohammad aim to counter malicious schemes against Saudi Arabia and the Arab world, and reflect ambitious economic and developmental plans and respond to the aspirations of the Saudis to live in an open and modern society, Hariri told the Saudi press Agency on the first anniversary of the appointment of Mohammad as crown prince.

“The wise and resolute policies he adopted to confront the attempts to fragment the Arab countries and target their security and stability have effectively thwarted them and affirmed the Kingdom’s leading role in dealing with dangers and standing as an impenetrable obstacle against enemies,” Hariri who was designated by lawmakers for a third term in office, said.

“At the same time, the plans and measures adopted at the economic and developmental levels, which are based on diversifying the sources of the economy instead of total reliance on oil, clearly reflect a future vision to maintain the Kingdom’s advanced economic position in the region and the world and to insist on improving the standard of living of the Saudi people.”

The steps taken by the Crown Prince to open up the society and respond to the aspirations of Saudi women have led to a qualitative leap in the daily lives of the Saudi citizens and have contributed effectively to keeping pace with development in various fields, he added.

Prince Mohammad’s dedication to moderation based on the genuine principles of Islamic as well as the adoption of dialogue as a means of resolving differences with others embody the core of the Saudi policy at all times, Hariri said.

“Such policies have led to curbing extremism in all its forms, ending the scourge of terrorism and fortifying the Saudi society from their dangers and devastating consequences.”

Hariri who has been prime minister since December 2016 and served his first term from 2009 to 2011 holds also the Saudi citizenship.

He has so far visited Saudi Arabia twice this year following claims that he had been detained there in November and forced to read out his resignation.

He has regularly denied the claims.