Macron Invites Lebanese PM Hariri to France Amid Rumors of His Detention

Nov 17, 2017, 00:32
Macron Invites Lebanese PM Hariri to France Amid Rumors of His Detention

Aoun added that he will decide the next steps for the Lebanese government once Hariri is back in Lebanon.

A statement released by Aoun's office later said that the national and diplomatic campaign in the country over the past days demanding Hariri's return "has produced positive results". He accused Iran and the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah of seeking to "take control of Lebanon".

Hariri announced his resignation while in Saudi Arabia on November 4 in a televised statement in which he railed against Riyadh's bitter foe Iran and its Lebanese ally Hezbollah. Iran supports Hariri's main rival in Lebanon, Hezbollah, which is also a partner in Hariri's unity government.

He branded the detaining of Hariri, who is still legally the prime minister of Lebanon (you can't resign long distance in Lebanese law), "a demonstration of enmity" against Lebanon.

France's Foreign Minister is arriving in Saudi Arabia on Wednesday to meet with Hariri and Saudi officials. Aoun is a Hezbollah ally but is personally close to Hariri.

Aoun has previously said he will not accept Hariri's resignation until he returns to Beirut to tender it and explain his reasons.

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The former presidential consultant added that Egypt plays a pivotal role in the endeavors aiming to resolve the current Lebanese crisis by virtue of its political influence on the Arab and regional scales, as well as it strong ties with all countries. According to the New York Times, Nasrallah said, "We, Hezbollah, did not wish for this". Hezbollah had increased inside and outside of Lebanon.

"We consider him detained, arrested" in violation of global laws, Aoun wrote on his official Twitter account. He said on Thursday on Twitter he hoped "the crisis is over" and the France visit would open the door to a solution. He said that Saudi Arabia had violated the International Declaration of Human Rights of the United Nations, given that the prime minister is being held without charge.

A source claims that Hariri will accept the invitation and will take his family with him, who are now in Saudi Arabia as well.

But Bassil, who is on a European tour seeking support for his country amid the crisis, said that Lebanon also has the option of resorting to worldwide law, without elaborating.

France's foreign minister, Le Drian, said Paris was working to normalise the situation in Lebanon.

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