- Saad al-Hariri resigned as Lebanon’s prime minister 11 days ago during a trip to Saudi Arabia.
- Harari might be leaving Saudi Arabia – and headed to France.
- French President Emmanuel Macron recently made a last-minute trip to Saudi Arabia to meet with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
Lebanese Prime Minister Saad al-Harari might be leaving Saudi Arabia – and headed to France.
French President Emmanuel Macron invited Hariri and his family to France, according to a statement. A French government source confirmed to Reuters that the Lebanese prime minister would arrive in France in “coming days.”
“After speaking with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and the Lebanese Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri the president has invited Saad al-Hariri and his family to France,” the French government said.
Hariri resigned as Lebanon’s prime minister 11 days ago during a trip to Saudi Arabia. Multiple reports, as well as public statements from leading Lebanese politicians, indicate that he was being held in the kingdom against his will.
Macron made a last-minute trip to Saudi Arabia last week to meet with Crown Prince Mohammed, the fast-rising heir to the Saudi throne who is believed to be directly behind Hariri’s resignation.
The prime minister is politically supported by Saudi Arabia and is part of a joint government in Lebanon that includes Hezbollah, the Iran-backed militant group. He has not been seen back in his home country since his resignation.
Hariri has left Saudi Arabia once since his resignation, for a day trip to the United Arab Emirates, a close Saudi ally. He returned directly to Saudi Arabia after his visit to the UAE.
Lebanon is a former French colony and maintains close ties to the European county. Hariri has a home in France and has spent several years in the country.