World leaders were stupefied on November 3, when Hariri boarded a flight from Beirut to Saudi Arabia, and announced his resignation the next day, in Riyadh.
Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri, who abruptly resigned and flew to Saudi Arabia in early November, tweeted late Friday, saying he was on the way to the airport to leave the country. “To say that I am held up in Saudi Arabia and not allowed to leave the country is a lie. I am on the way to the airport,” Hariri said in a tweet that followed speculation that he had been forced out of power by Riyadh because of his relationships with Iran-backed Shiite group Hezbollah. Hariri’s associates earlier said he would go to Paris and eventually return to Beirut to decide the fate of the government there.
Prime Minister Saad Hariri has arrived in France from Saudi Arabia, Lebanese TV reported on Saturday. Hariri earlier wrote on Twitter that he was “on the way” to the airport.
Lebanese PM shocked the world earlier this month by unexpectedly flying to Riyadh and announcing his resignation, with the Lebanese people suspecting foul play on the part of the Saudis.
Hariri pointed to the “regional interference” of Iran and Hezbollah as the main reason for his decision. The politician also said he feared assassination. Saad’s father, former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri, was killed in a massive truck bombing in 2005.
Lebanese Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil said in Moscow on Friday that his country’s sovereignty is not for sale. Beirut will respond to any attempts at outside interference, RIA Novosti quoted him as saying. Bassil, who held a meeting with his Russian counterpart, Sergey Lavrov, also said that Lebanon wanted to preserve good relations with Saudi Arabia despite the resignation of Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri. Bassil expects Hariri to return to the country following his visit to France.
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