France's Macron invites Hariri and family to France - Elysee

France's Macron invites Hariri and family to France - Elysee

Kerry Wise
November 16, 2017

Lebanese President Michel Aoun said on Wednesday nothing justified Saad al-Hariri's continued absence from Lebanon and therefore he should be considered detained in Saudi Arabia.

Bahaa Hariri, 51, worked in his family's construction and development company, Saudi Oger, in Saudi Arabia.

Because Hariri delivered his speech in Saudi Arabia, Lebanese civilians believe that the Saudi government has forced Hariri to resign against his own will and now have him under house arrest. He accused Iran and the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah of seeking to "take control of Lebanon".

In a followup phone call from Monaco with the AP Wednesday, Bahaa Hariri declined to comment further.

One source in the presidential Elysee Palace said Hariri was expected to arrive in France "in the coming days".

The official said Macron spoke with Hariri and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman several times Tuesday and Wednesday. And national unity is the guarantee of such security, he added.

Velayati also praised relations between Iran and Lebanon.

Is April the giraffe pregnant again?
After months of anticipation, she gave birth in April to Tajiri, who is her fourth calf and first with fellow giraffe Oliver. Last month, however, the park noted on its Facebook page that "love is in the air" for April and her partner.

Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah has called for "patience and calm" from Lebanese citizens, as Nasrallah fears that Hariri's resignation will be "very destabilizing" for the region.

Bahaa Hariri, right, and Saad Hariri, sons of slain Lebanese former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri, visit the scene where their father was assassinated in Beirut, Lebanon, February 19, 2005.

Riyadh and Hariri both oppose Hezbollah's military role in Syria, fighting alongside President Bashar al-Assad, and what they allege is its participation in Yemen's civil war alongside the Houthi group against a Saudi-led coalition. Hariri gave his first public remarks on Sunday, saying in a televised interview in Riyadh he planned to return to Lebanon within days to affirm his resignation.

Hariri is a Saudi ally who holds dual citizenship.

"It is not possible for us to make a decision about this resignation from overseas". He said Arab mediation to resolve the crisis had failed.

"I want to repeat: I am fine and will return to my beloved Lebanon as I promised you, you will see", Hariri tweeted minutes after Aoun issued his statement.

As it was unclear when Hariri will leave Saudi Arabia to return home, the timing of the meeting "may be adjusted", the aide said. French President Emmanuel Macron paid a surprise visit to the kingdom last week.