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Hariri to leave Saudi Arabia for France on Friday

BEIRUT: Saad al-Hariri, who resigned as Lebanese prime minister on Nov 4 in a statement broadcast from Saudi Arabia, will travel to France on Friday, a member of parliament for Hariri’s Future Movement told Reuters.“Today to Paris, this afternoon, and tomorrow a family meeting with (French President Emmanuel) Macron,” said Future Movement MP Okab Saqr.Hariri quit as prime minister in a broadcast from Saudi Arabia two weeks ago, saying he feared assasination and railing against Riyadh’s foe Iran along with its Lebanese ally Hezbollah.Hariri, a Muslim leader and long-time Saudi ally, has yet to return to Beirut.His decision to quit threw Lebanon into a political crisis.It also put the country centre stage in the Middle East’s overarching rivalry between Saudi Arabia and its allies and a bloc led by Iran.Top Lebanese government officials and senior politicians close to Hariri say he was forced to quit and was being held by Saudi.
Politicians from all sides in Lebanon have called for his return to Beirut. Riyadh has denied forcing Hariri to resign or detaining him.

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