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Saturday, 11 November 2017

Lebanese president calls on Saudi to explain why Hariri has not returned

President Michel Aoun
Lebanon's president called on Saudi Arabia today to clarify why Lebanese Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri could not leave the kingdom and return home.


A senior Lebanese official said President Michel Aoun told foreign ambassadors that Mr Hariri, who resigned suddenly while in Saudi Arabia a week ago, had been "kidnapped" and should benefit from immunity as prime minister.

"Lebanon does not accept its prime minister being in a situation at odds with international treaties," Mr Aoun said in a statement.

Mr Hariri's resignation, which caught even his close aides by surprise, has plunged Lebanon into crisis. It has thrust the country back to the forefront of a power struggle between Sunni Saudi Arabia and Shia Iran - a rivalry that has wrought upheaval in Syria, Iraq, Yemen, and Bahrain.

Mr Aoun added that anything Mr Hariri has said or may say "does not reflect reality" due to the mystery surrounding his status since his shock resignation in a broadcast from Saudi Arabia.

Lebanese authorities believe Riyadh is holding Mr Hariri, two top Lebanese government officials, a senior politician close to Mr Hariri and a fourth source have said.
 rte.ie
 11/11/17

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