Saudi Arabia's decision to invite Prime Minister Saad Hariri and not President Michel Aoun to an Arab-Islamic summit in Riyadh with U.S. President Donald Trump has stirred controversy in Lebanon, media reports said on Friday.
Hariri was handed the invitation on Thursday by the Chargé d'affaires of the Saudi Embassy in Lebanon, Walid Al-Bukhari.
“Several Lebanese leaders and officials said the invitation involved a flagrant diplomatic and protocol mistake, especially that the summit will be held at the level of presidents and kings, and accordingly the invitation should have been addressed to Lebanon's president and not to any other Lebanese official,” al-Joumhouria newspaper reported.
Observers have noted that Lebanon's Christian presidents had taken part in several Islamic summits in the past, the daily said.
“Lebanese diplomacy is trying to seek answers and clarifications regarding this step,” al-Joumhouria added.
“The possibility of correcting this mistake through addressing an invitation to the president is not ruled out,” the daily quoted sources as saying.