Lebanon's Hariri arrives in Paris with family

Lebanon's Hariri arrives in Paris with family
Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri has arrived in Paris amid a deepening crisis that has placed Lebanon at the centre of Saudi Arabia and Iran's regional rivalry.
2 min read
18 November, 2017

Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri arrived in France early on Saturday after leaving Saudi Arabia with his family, Lebanese television stations reported.

The stations broadcast footage of Hariri exiting his car outside his Paris home and heading straight into the building without speaking to journalists.

He was accompanied by his wife Lara al-Azm on Saturday, but none of his three children appeared in the news footage.

Hariri arrived in Paris from Saudi Arabia, where the Lebanese premier had stayed after announcing his resignation in the kingdom's capital, Riyadh, on November 4. Hariri claimed that he feared for his life and was stepping down due to Iranian interference in Lebanon through Hizballah.

The move plunged Lebanon into a serious political crisis, with President Michel Aoun refusing to accept the resignation and accusing the Saudis of holding him against his will.

Hariri has dismissed allegations that the Saudis were holding him captive, saying that his stay in the kingdom was for consultations with officials.

The office of French President Emmanuel Macron said Hariri was expected in Paris' presidential palace by midday Saturday. With France following Aoun's lead on rejecting Hariri's resignation, Macron said Hariri will be received "with the honors due a prime minister."

Aoun, an ally of Hizballah, said on Thursday that he hoped Hariri's trip to France would be the "start of a solution," however insisted that he would only recognise the premier's resignation if it is handed in in Lebanon.