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Lebanon’s Hariri Departs Saudi Arabia for Abu Dhabi

Lebanon’s Hariri Departs Saudi Arabia for Abu Dhabi

Tuesday, 7 November, 2017 - 09:00
Lebanon's Prime Minister Saad Hariri is seen at the governmental palace in Beirut, Lebanon October 24, 2017. (Reuters)

Resigned Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri departed Saudi Arabia on Tuesday and headed to the capital of the United Arab Emirates, Abu Dhabi, announced his press office.

He held talks with UAE Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan, it added.

The two officials discussed bilateral ties and the latest developments in Lebanon before Hariri later returned to Riyadh, it continued.

In Saudi Arabia, the Lebanese official had held talks on Monday with Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz.

Hariri resigned over the weekend in a move that shocked Lebanon. He attributed his decision to Iran’s ongoing meddling in local Lebanese affairs through its proxy “Hezbollah.”

His stepping down threatened to plunge Lebanon into political paralysis. The ratings agency Moody's has said that any return to the stalemate that existed before Hariri joined a national unity government last year would harm its credit rating.

Commenting on the resignation, the French Foreign Ministry said on Monday that it respected his decision.

It called on all Lebanese factions to work together responsibly and in consensus, which is in the interest of all sides.

In Lebanon, political circles were awaiting any step that President Michel Aoun would take regarding the premier’s resignation.

The president had intensified his contacts over this issue, reiterating on Monday that he will not take any action until Hariri returns to Lebanon.

Hariri had declared during his resignation speech over the weekend that he had received information that a plan to assassinate him was being plotted.

Aoun had on Monday chaired a meeting for senior security and judicial officials during which he urged calm and caution, demanding that those spreading malicious rumors in recent days should be persecuted.

Interior Minister Nouhad al-Mashnouq, who had held talks with Grand Mufti Sheikh Abdul Latif Daryan on Monday, underline the importance of preserving security to avert any instability in Lebanon.

He revealed that the Lebanese agencies had no information over the plot to assassinate Hariri.

He added however that the premier appeared to have received the information from a trusted western agency.

“We cannot predict what will happen until Hariri returns to Lebanon and I have an impression that that will be within days,” Mashnouq said.

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