Hariri will be in Lebanon for Independence Day on Wednesday: President AounNovember 18, 2017
Beirut (OIC-UNA) – Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri, who has not returned to Beirut since his surprise resignation two weeks ago, will be home for Independence Day on Wednesday, the president’s office said.
Hariri telephoned President Michel Aoun after arriving in France from Saudi Arabia on Saturday morning, the presidency said in a statement. PM Hariri told the president that he would be in Lebanon to take part in Independence Day celebrations, especially the military parade marking the occasion, on Wednesday, it said.
Hariri arrived in Paris at the invitation of France’s President Emmanuel Macron. Hariri and his wife Lara, who landed at Le Bourget airport outside the French capital at 7:00 a.m. after flying in from Riyadh overnight, were due to meet Macron at noon.
The couple were whisked to their Paris residence in a seven-car convoy under tight security. “To say that I am held up in Saudi Arabia and not allowed to leave the country is a lie,” Hariri had tweeted just before his departure.
Hariri announced his resignation on Nov. 4. He said he feared for his life, accusing Iran and its Lebanese ally Hezbollah of destabilizing his country. Hariri met French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian in Riyadh. In another development, Riyadh on Saturday recalled its ambassador to Berlin in protest at comments by Germany’s Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel which were interpreted as a suggestion that Hariri acted under Saudi orders.
Without mentioning Saudi Arabia directly, Gabriel had on Thursday said he shared concerns about the threat of instability and bloodshed in Lebanon and warned against “adventurism”. Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister Adel Al-Jubeir insisted from Madrid that unless Hezbollah disarms and becomes a political party, Lebanon will be held hostage by Hezbollah and, by extension, Iran.
Source: International Islamic News Agency