Saudi Arabia, UAE plan to invest in several infrastructure projects in Lebanon: Hariri

File photo:  Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri
File photo: Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri

Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates are looking to invest in up to 23 infrastructure projects in Lebanon, Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Al Hariri said on Friday.

“We will present to (Saudi and the UAE) the projects we have in Cedre because they want to contribute and invest. The relationship between us has returned to what it was before and may be better,” Hariri told reporters during a visit in Washington, according to a report by Reuters.

Up to 23 deals are currently being negotiated, the report added.

Last month, three former Lebanese premiers – Fouad Siniora, Najib Mikati and Tammam Salam – travelled to Riyadh to meet with Saudi officials in order to request financial assistance for the Arab country.

“We brought up the financial issue and that Saudi used to place deposits and invest in treasury bills in the past. We said this would seriously contribute to fortifying Lebanon financially,” Salam was quoted as saying by Bloomberg.

Lebanon is aiming to raise $11 billion in loans and grants in order to help restore its beleaguered economy.

Economic activity in the country hasn’t exceeded 1 percent over the last five years and is projected to be 1.2 percent in 2019, according to the finance ministry.