Wednesday, August 15, 2018
Text Size

Site Search powered by Ajax

All eyes on Beirut as Saad Hariri returns

Hariri arrives in Beirut for the first time since sudden resignation announced during a visit to Saudi capital, Riyadh.

Saad Hariri

Saad Hariri has returned to Beirut, more than two weeks after announcing his shock resignation as Lebanon's prime minister from Saudi Arabia.

He arrived at the capital's international airport late on Tuesday.

A Sunni Muslim politician and longtime ally of Saudi Arabia, Hariri announced his resignation in a televised address on November 4, shortly after landing in Riyadh.

In that speech, Hariri blamed interference in Lebanon by Iran and its Lebanese ally Hezbollah for his decision, adding that he feared an assassination attempt.

'Two weeks of uncertainty'

Hariri's resignation plunged Lebanon into uncertainty, threatening the country's fragile political stability and raising concerns over an open-ended crisis.

It also stoked fears of an escalation in the regional divide between Iran and Saudi Arabia, with Lebanon on the front lines.

Officials in Lebanon said they will only accept Hariri's resignation if he delivers it on Lebanese soil.

They also alleged that he was being held hostage by authorities in Saudi Arabia, claims Hariri has rejected.

Politicians within his own Future Movement, as well his rivals, demanded he return home to formalise his resignation.

On Saturday, after flying to Paris from Saudi Arabia to meet French President Emmanuel Macron, Hariri said he would return to Lebanon to take part in Independence Day celebrations.

"It is there that I will make known my position on all the issues," he told reporters in the French capital.

Lebanon marks its Independence Day on Wednesday.

Key talks

Hariri is part of a unity government under President Michel Aoun that also includes rival political factions such as those supported by Hezbollah, a popular Shia group which is represented in the Lebanese parliament and has a strongly armed wing.

Hassan Nasrallah, the leader of Hezbollah, has previously said he was sure Hariri was forced to resign as part of what he called Saudi Arabia's policy of stoking sectarian tensions in Lebanon.

Last week, in his first public comments since his shock resignation, Hariri said he had "complete freedom" in Saudi Arabia.

Speaking on Future TV, a station affiliated with his political party, Hariri said that upon his return to Lebanon he would confirm his resignation in accordance with the country's constitution.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Subscribe via RSS or Email:

UN report: 20,000-30,000 ISIL fight...

Read More

Egypt: Five years since 'Rabaa mass...

Read More

Iraqi PM walks back on commitment t...

Read More

Iran's Khamenei: No war, no negotia...

Read More

Thousands attend funerals of childr...

Read More

Egypt: Rights group demands probe o...

Read More


Thanks to all of our supporters for your generosity and your encouragement of an independent press!

Enter Amount:


Pennsylvania grand jury details decades of abuse of more than 1,000 children by hundreds of accused priests in the state.

Read More



Login reminder Forgot login?

Subscribe to MWC News Alert

Email Address

Subscribe in a reader Facebok page Twitter page

Israel pounds Gaza

Thailand cave boys

Capturing life under apartheid