Saad Hariri returns to Lebanon after shock resignation

Share

Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri has visited the grave of his father, the late Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri, in his first stop since returning to Beirut late on Tuesday.

Al-Hariri sparked a crisis in Lebanon when he abruptly announced his resignation as prime minister while in Riyadh on 4 November, raising fears about his country's stability.

Hariri met with el-Sissi at the presidential palace in Cairo's upscale Heliopolis district and a cryptic statement by the Lebanese leader's press office later said the two discussed the "latest developments in Lebanon and the region".

"As you know I have resigned and we will talk about this matter in Lebanon", Hariri said. He has said he will return to Lebanon by Wednesday for the country's Independence Day celebrations, where he said he will clarify his position.

Okab Saqr, a member of parliament for Hariri's Future Movement, said after Hariri's visit to France he would have "a small Arab tour" before traveling to Beirut.

Celebrities react to Morrissey's comments on sexual abuse and Kevin Spacey
But if everything went well, and if it had given them a great career, they would not talk about it. I hate sexual assault. 'Afterwards they find it embarrassing or they didn't like it.

Mr Hariri has close ties with Saudi Arabia.

Hezbollah and Iran claimed Hariri was held and forced to resign in Riyadh, which Hariri later denied in a TV interview in Riyadh and following his meeting with Macron in Paris.

Lebanon maintains a delicate sectarian balance after Sunnis, Shi'ites, Christians and Druze fought a civil war between 1975 and 1990, with factions often backed by regional rivals.

News of the joint Egypt-French effort to persuade Hariri to find a way out of the crisis was reported by Al-Akhbar, an authoritative Beirut daily that takes an anti-Saudi stand. Hariri's government, a power-sharing coalition formed previous year, includes Hezbollah.

On Saturday, U.S. President Donald Trump spoke with Macron about the situation in Lebanon and Syria. On Thursday, Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian, speaking alongside his Saudi counterpart, denounced Tehran's "hegemonic temptations".

Share