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Hariri says he will return to Lebanon soon, leaves doubt about resignation

14 Noviembre 2017

When Lebanon's Prime Minister Saad Hariri announced his resignation in a televised speech from Saudi Arabia last weekend, it stunned his country and created a mystery that lasted for more than a week.

"I have resigned. I am going to Lebanon very soon and I will resign in a constitutional manner", he said in the first television interview after his resignation.

He has been staying in Saudi Arabia where he announced his surprise resignation, sparking claims that he is being held there against his will.

"Lowcock and calls for full and unrestrained access to be restored immediately, to avoid Yemen suffering the largest famine in decades", Stylianides said.

"There's just a lot of contradictions and a lack of clarity in what he was saying, so I think it just reinforces the widespread sentiment in Lebanon that he is being used by the Saudi Arabian government as a mechanism to put pressure on the Lebanese government to put pressure on Hezbollah which would put pressure on Iran".

"I am freely in the kingdom, and if I want to travel tomorrow, I will travel", Hariri said of his presence in Saudi Arabia.

The man at the background triggered widespread speculation, amid various uncertainties in the minds of millions, asking about who he could possibly be and what message was on the rolled white paper he was holding.

Meanwhile, in a statement released by Aoun's office on Saturday, the Lebanese president expressed concern over Hariri's situation and said the premier was living in a "dubious" situation in Saudi Arabia.

Aoun said he would not accept Hariri's resignation until he returns to Lebanon to explain his position.

"Everyone may not agree with Hariri's politics, but he is our prime minister".

Hariri is part of a unity government that also includes rival political factions such as those supported by Hezbollah, a popular Shia group which is represented in the Lebanese parliament and has a strong armed wing.

This article has been adapted from its original source.

Rami Khouri, senior public policy fellow at the American University of Beirut, said Hariri's body language during the Future TV interview indicated that he was in "an uncomfortable situation". Hezbollah has sent thousands of fighters to Syria, Lebanon's neighbor, to support the forces of Syria's President Bashar Assad.

"We are in the eye of the storm", he said. He added that Hariri says he is free to move and "we don't have any reason not to believe him. It's an excellent and special relationship", he said. He has friends and supporters and interests and so forth, first and foremost among them the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, whom Saad Hariri said he look up as a father figures.

Asked why Hariri was wearing the same suit for three days, he said: "I said I'm not responsible for his closet".

Hariri says he will return to Lebanon soon, leaves doubt about resignation