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Hariri rejects 'rumours' about Saudi stay, says ready to go to France

Europe
17.11.2017
By our dpa-correspondent and Europe Online    auf Facebook posten  Auf Twitter posten  
Beirut (dpa) - Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri again rejected speculation that he was being held against his will in Saudi Arabia as sources in his party said he was ready to leave for France on Friday.

The sources, speaking to dpa on condition of anonymity, said Hariri would fly from Riyadh - where he has been staying since he made a stunning resignation about two weeks ago - to Paris Friday night. No further details were given.

"My stay in the kingdom is for consultations about the future of the situation in Lebanon and its relations with the Arab region," Hariri said in a tweet.

"All the other stories about my stay and departure or about my family‘s situation are just rumours," he added.

On November 4, Hariri announced he was resigning in a televised broadcast from Riyadh, triggering claims he was being held against his will there, allegations that he and Saudi officials have denied. 

Hariri this week accepted an invitation from French President Emmanuel Macron to visit Paris.

Macron is scheduled to meet Hariri in Paris on Saturday, the Elysee Palace said

The Lebanese premier and his family are then set to lunch with Macron.

Announcing his resignation, Hariri, who also holds Saudi nationality, said he feared for his life and accused Iran and its ally, the Lebanese Shiite movement Hezbollah, of destabilizing Lebanon and other Arab countries.

The resignation has provoked international fears that Lebanon could be sucked into a proxy conflict between Saudi Arabia and its regional rival Iran.

 

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