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Lebanese Call For Hariri To Return From Saudi Arabia


Lebanese Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri is seen at the governmental palace in Beirut, October 24, 2017

The political party of Prime Minister Saad Hariri called for his immediate return to Lebanon after he abruptly resigned in a televised address from Saudi Arabia on Saturday.

Hariri’s Future Party is a Saudi aligned, mainly Sunni political group, but in a meeting on Thursday in Beirut it issued a statement saying it was “necessary” for the prime minister to return “to restore Lebanon’s dignity and respect”.

Reuters news agency also reported from Beirut that multiple sources in Lebanon believe Hariri is being held by Saudi Arabia. One of these sources who is identified as a senior politician close to Saudi-allied Hariri, said Riyadh ordered him to resign and put him under house arrest.

In his resignation speech, Hariri lambasted Iran and Hezbollah for their role in the Syrian war and in meddling in various regional countries.

Hariri’s sudden resignation and his attack on Hezbollah, a powerful Lebanese force, has plunged the country into political uncertainty.

Saudi Arabia and Hariri’s own Future Party have denied reports that he is under House Arrest. But he has issued no statements himself to deny that his movements have been restricted.

He made a one-day visit to the United Arab Emirates, a close Saudi ally, on Tuesday, before returning to Saudi Arabia.

Reporting by Reuters and AP
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