18:28, 22 June 2018
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Lebanon's Aoun begins Middle East tour in Saudi Arabia

Lebanon President Michel Aoun has traveled to Saudi Arabia

on his first official diplomatic trip, with hopes of restoring ties that soured last year over an attack on the Saudi embassy in Iran. Aoun's visit to Riyadh on Monday - the first of a series of stops in neighbouring countries - is expected to focus on reviving tourism in Lebanon and restoring military cooperation between the two countries. The Saudi government suspended nearly $4bn in arms support to Lebanon last year, before also issuing a travel advisory to its citizens against going to Lebanon. One of Lebanon's most important financial sectors, tourism generated less than $4bn for the country last year, compared to $8.4bn in 2010 - with visitors from neighbouring Arab countries, especially Saudi Arabia, having dropped significantly. The Saudi government took the measures against Lebanon because it said the country failed to condemn what it considered to be attacks on its diplomatic missions in Iran in January 2016.