Hariri back in Lebanon for first time since quitting as PM

by Antonio Miles November 22, 2017, 0:40
Hariri back in Lebanon for first time since quitting as PM

Lebanon's Prime Minister Saad Hariri, who had fled from Saudi Arabia to France will arrive in Egypt on Tuesday, reported the local Lebanese media. The move caught even his aides off guard, and politicians close to him say Riyadh forced him to quit and held him in Saudi Arabia.

Fireworks were heard in Beirut as Hariri supporters in mainly Sunni areas celebrated his impending return. Hariri later said he would return to Lebanon in time for Wednesday's Independence Day celebrations.

The meeting will focus on the evolution of the situation in Lebanon and the region, followed by a dinner hosted by the Egyptian president in honor of Hariri.

Lebanon's Saad al-Hariri, who resigned as prime minister on November 4, has met Egypt's President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi for talks in a brief Cairo stopover before a planned return to Lebanon, Egypt state media said on Tuesday.

North Korean soldier shot while defecting to South Korea
Command soldiers traded gunfire after a Soviet citizen defected by sprinting to the South Korean sector of the truce village. About 30,000 North Koreans have defected to South Korea since the end of the Korean War, but most travel through China.

Al-Hariri flew to Cairo from Paris, where he held talks with French President Emmanuel Macron.

Lebanese President Michel Aoun has not recognized the resignation of Hariri, echoing Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah's concerns that the statement could have been made under pressure by the Saudi authorities.

Hariri, a long-time ally of Saudi Arabia, cited fear of assassination and meddling by Iran and Hezbollah in the Arab world in his resignation speech.

During the talks, El-Sisi stressed "the need for all parties in Lebanon to reach a consensus, elevate national interests and reject foreign interference in Lebanese internal affairs", according to statement by the presidency.


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