Lebanon's Prime Minister Saad Hariri has landed in Saudi Arabia for the first time since he announced his resignation from Riyadh. The Lebanese leader, who also holds Saudi citizenship, is expected to hold talks with Saudi King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman during the trip.
Hariri's spokesperson issued a brief statement on his latest visit, saying he was touring Riyadh after being invited by the Sunni kingdom, a regional heavyweight in the Middle East. The exact agenda of Hariri's trip is still unclear.
His visit also comes ahead of three major donor conferences which are set to take place in Europe in the coming months in support of Lebanon, with all the summits requiring Riyadh's backing.
In November last year, Hariri dropped a bombshell while he was in Saudi Arabia by saying that he was stepping down as Lebanese prime minister, an announcement which sent shockwaves across the volatile Middle East region.
There have been widespread reports since then that Riyadh had pressured him to resign from his post but the situation was later resolved relatively peacefully. After Hariri returned to Lebanon, he rescinded his resignation a few weeks later.
Following his return to power, the Lebanese government announced that it would stay away from the conflicts of the Arab world.
On the eve of his latest Saudi visit, Hariri revealed that he had taken the unexpected step to resign last year as he wanted the move to be "more dramatic" in order to "create a positive shock" among the Lebanese people and political parties.
Still, there were serious concerns at the time about Lebanon plunging into political and financial turmoil over the crisis situation.
Lebanon has been caught in the power struggle between Shia-oriented Iran and Sunni-inclined Saudi Arabia – both powerhouses attempting to expand their influence in the region.