Lebanon's prime minister, who has blamed Syria for the assassination of his father, visited Damascus Saturday for the first time since the 2005 killing. Saad Hariri was greeted warmly by Syrian President Bashar Assad upon his arrival at the presidential palace at the start of his two-day visit, the AP reported.
The visit by Hariri was "very difficult on the personal level" and involves "great sacrifice," said Hariri loyalist and former lawmaker Mustafa Alloush. "But as prime minister of Lebanon, it is quite normal to have such a visit. ... It is necessary and there is a need to settle all aspects of the relationship," Alloush told The Associated Press. According to him the visit did not mean Lebanon had dropped its belief that Syria was responsible for the killing of Rafik Hariri.