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Hariri to discuss resignation with president after arriving in Beirut

Europe
22.11.2017
By our dpa-correspondent and Europe Online    auf Facebook posten  Auf Twitter posten  
Beirut (dpa) - Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri was expected to meet with President Michel Aoun on Wednesday, for the first time since announcing his resignation while in Saudi Arabia on November 4.

Hariri arrived back in Beirut on Tuesday and was scheduled to attend the official military parade on Wednesday to mark Lebanon‘s Independence Day.

Aoun last week accused Saudi Arabia of holding Hariri hostage, while the pro-Iranian Shiite Hezbollah movement alleged that he was forced to resign. Both accusations have been denied by Riyadh.

On Tuesday, President Aoun, who has not accepted Hariri‘s resignation, struck a defiant note during a television address.

"Lebanon will not obey any opinion, advice or decision that drives it towards internal strife, and those who wish Lebanon well would help it consolidate its unity because it is its safety valve," he said.

Hariri‘s mysterious resignation, which was televised from Saudi Arabia, has raised international fears that Lebanon is caught in a proxy feud between Saudi Arabia and regional rival Iran. 

Hariri, 47, travelled to Beirut via Cyprus from Egypt where he met Egyptian President Abdel-Fatah al-Sissi, following three days in Paris where he held a string of meetings about Lebanon‘s political crisis.

France pressed for Hariri to be able to return to Lebanon to clarify there whether he intended to follow through on his resignation or not.

French President Emmanuel Macron also spoke to both Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, raising the need to protect Lebanon‘s stability and keep it apart from regional conflicts with both leaders, the Elysee Palace said on Tuesday.

 

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