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Lebanon's Hariri to visit Egypt on Tuesday: Hariri's office

21 Noviembre 2017

Mr Macron is seeking to calm tensions and avert a proxy conflict between Saudi-backed and Iranian-backed camps in Lebanon.

A French presidential source said Macron had reiterated that Paris wanted Hariri to return to Lebanon to ensure the country's political system continued to function and that it was imperative it remained "disassociated" from regional crises.

Saudi Arabia on Saturday asked its citizens for the second time in less than two weeks to leave Lebanon "as soon as possible" given the "circumstances" there.

Indeed, his resignation, made via the Saudi-funded news channel Al-Arabiya from the Saudi capital, Riyadh, was a shock. Nothing like that had ever happened before.

The official with the French presidency said France is not worried that Hariri left two of his children in Saudi Arabia. He also said he was afraid for his life.

Saudi Arabia firmly denies the claim.

Riyadh has been bogged down in the war it launched against Iran-allied Houthi rebels in Yemen in 2015. No such groundswell emerged.

Lebanon will mark Independence Day on Wednesday and there have been concerns about whether Hariri will attend the annual celebrations.

Just before leaving Saudi Arabia, Mr Hariri met with the Saudi Crown Prince and other senior officials, according to a member of his political party and two Lebanese television stations. Nasrallah didn't attack Hariri, but rather expressed sympathy for the 47-year-old former prime minister. Hariri is only speaking of what he thinks will happen regarding the new political equations that will be imposed in Lebanon and Syria. His detention, said Aoun, "is an attack on us, and it's an attack on our independence".

Hariri declined to take questions, but is set to return to Beirut by Wednesday when Lebanon celebrates its independence day.

At the same time, the prince has been promoting clerics who speak of tolerance for Judaism and Christianity.

According to the study, PM Hariri has slammed Iran and Hezbollah with his shocking resignation on November 4, 2017, accusing Iran and Hezbollah of plotting to drag Lebanon to the period before 2005 and of repeating the scenario of assassinating his father, Rafiq al-Hariri.

In Beirut, residents express similar views.

Hariri served as prime minister from 2009 to 2011 and took office again in 2016.

There is a method and a correlation to all of this.

"In the end, he's Lebanese, and the Lebanese are all brothers, regardless of their sect", said another runner, Alin. It's a relationship of dependency coloured by more than a tinge of resentment.

Hariri's older son, Hussam, studies in Britain and arrived in Paris to meet his parents. But he hasn't. Now he has accepted an invitation from French President Emmanuel Macron to come with his family to Paris Saturday. Afterwards, Lebanese officials told me, they believe he will eventually return to Beirut. "In sha Allah", - God willing - they are quick to add.

Mr Macron's office says France's strategy is to talk to all powers in the region and not to appear as choosing a camp.

"These are serious threats to the Lebanese economy which is already dire. If the Saudis decide on sanctions they will do it", Naoum said. "It's everybody, like the Iranians, the Americans".

This time, however, many feel interference has gone to an entirely new level. There's an old saying about this country, that it's easy to swallow, but hard to digest.

Lebanon's Hariri to visit Egypt on Tuesday: Hariri's office