Lebanese PM Hariri backs Saudi Arabia over Khashoggi case

Lebanese PM Hariri backs Saudi Arabia over Khashoggi case
Lebanese PM Saad Hariri, widely believed to have been detained in Saudi Arabia last year, expressed solidarity with the kingdom which has faced pressure over the journalist Khashoggi's disappearance.
2 min read
16 October, 2018
Lebanese PM Saad Hariri [Getty]

Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri said he stands in solidarity with Saudi Arabia "in the face of the campaigns targeting it", as international pressure grows over the potential murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

"The status of Saudi Arabia in the Arab and international communities places it among the central countries entrusted with the stability of the region and the support of the Arab causes," he said in a statement on Sunday night.

"The campaigns against it constitute a violation of this stability and an unacceptable call to drag the region towards further negative developments," he added.

Last week, a Lebanese lawmaker confirmed Riyadh had detained Hariri last year while on a trip to Saudi Arabia, and forced him to resign. 

Paula Yacoubian, a former journalist, was the first to interview Saad Hariri in Riyadh last November after he made a shock resignation, made the remarks on 8 October.

"It seems [Hariri] was threatened but I don't know to what extent… without evidence or documentation I can say that he was detained," Yacoubian said during an interview with Lebanese Al-Jadid TV earlier this month. 

"It was clear that Hariri was tired and under pressure. It was clear from the interview that he didn't want to resign."

The kingdom has denied that Hariri had been held against his will and had been intimidated into quitting his post.