Lebanon's President: Holding Prime Minister Hariri Is an Act of Aggression

Aoun said he considered Hariri to have been detained in Saudi Arabia, and suffering from limited mobility in the place where he is being held. The comments were published on his official Twitter account. Hariri is expected then to flying home to Beirut to officially submit his resignation.

Lebanon's Foreign Minister Gibran Bassil said in Rome that Lebanon wants to resolve Hariri's "ambiguous" condition with Saudi Arabia in a "brotherly" fashion.

Lebanon President Michel Aoun said Hariri and his family will arrive Saturday in France, "where he will rest for few days" before returning to Beirut to make "a decision regarding the resignation".

In remarks to Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper, Future Bloc MP Okab Sakr described Aoun's speech as "very dangerous", warning of attempts to "turn Hezbollah's dispute with Saudi Arabia to a dispute between Lebanon and the Kingdom".

The former consultant of the Lebanese president, Beshara Khair Allah, affirmed in an interview with Egypt Today that Hezbollah's acts are unconstitutional, favoring its private interests rather than that of the nation.

Hariri's office said he met several diplomats in Riyadh on Monday including the British and German ambassadors.

Hariri's older brother meanwhile broke his silence over the premier's shock resignation announced from Riyadh earlier this month, after speculation that the elder Hariri was being groomed by Saudi Arabia to fill the post. He added that Hariri's resignation had been expected in light of Hezbollah's continuous militant operations outside the country's borders. Aoun is a Hezbollah ally but is personally close to Hariri.

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Hezbollah accused the kingdom of seeking to sow chaos in Lebanon.

Hariri's resignation came against the backdrop of mounting tensions between Sunni Saudi Arabia and Shiite Iran, which back opposing sides in power struggles in hotspots such as Syria and Yemen.

Saudi Arabia is locked in a feud with Iran over regional influence; both countries support different groups in Lebanon.

France, Lebanon's onetime colonial ruler, has been trying to mediate the crisis.

French President Emmanuel Macron said in a statement on Wednesday that he had invited Hariri to France after speaking to him and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

On Wednesday, the front page of the daily Lebanese Al-Akhbar boasted: "Saudi loses, ' hailing the French for their proposal to end the deadlock".

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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