Lebanese press Saudi Arabia for return of former PM Saad Hariri

Lebanese press Saudi Arabia for return of former PM Saad Hariri
From CBC - November 9, 2017

Lebanon's Future Movement party of former prime minister Saad Hariri, who resigned from Saudi Arabia under mysterious circumstances five days ago, demanded on Thursday that he return from the kingdom immediately.

Riyadh, meanwhile, ordered all Saudi citizens out of Lebanonits first concrete action against the Mediterranean country after days of levelling threats against Beirut. A brief statement carried by the state-run Saudi Press Agency called on all Saudis living in or visiting Lebanon to depart "immediately," and warned against travel to the country.

Saudi Arabia's Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir warned earlier this week that his government would "deal with" Lebanon as a hostile state as long as the militant group Hezbollah was in the Lebanese government. He said Hezbollah's participation in government is an "act of war" against Saudi Arabia.

Saudi Arabia sees Hezbollah as a proxy of Iran amid a spiralling rivalry between the two regional Sunni and Shia heavyweights.

Hariri left Lebanon last week for a trip to Saudi Arabia and the Gulf Arab region and shocked the country by announcing his resignation on Saturday. Even close associates in his party, the Saudi-aligned Future Movement, have been uncertain why he resigned or when he would return.

On Thursday, the party delivered its sharpest statement yet over his leave of absence.

"The return of the Lebanese prime minister, the national leader, Saad Hariri, and the head of the Future Movement, is necessary to restore the dignity and respect to Lebanon at home and abroad," said a former premier, Fouad Siniora, in a statement read on TV. Sinioraheads the party's bloc in parliament.

Hezbollah accusations


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