Saturday, 20 January, 2018

U.S. declines comment on Hariri's status in Saudi Arabia

U.S. declines comment on Hariri's status in Saudi Arabia U.S. declines comment on Hariri's status in Saudi Arabia
Bennie Garza | 10 November, 2017, 12:06

Le Drian is in Riyadh with France's President Emmanuel Macron in an unscheduled visit to Saudi Arabia late Thursday.

Macron made the comments during a news conference on Thursday night in Dubai.

Riyadh, however, linked the attack to Hezbollah and Iran, saying the Lebanese group was behind the missile launch.

"The issue of Hariri's return to the country concerns the sovereign rights of Lebanon", Zasypkin said in an interview with Lebanese channel LBC.

And while the United States was quick to endorse the allegation against Iran, despite a lack of evidence, neither they nor the European Union appear to be supportive of any Saudi chicanery against Lebanon, as both reaffirmed their support for the nation Wednesday.

While perhaps sudden both in its timing as well as its staging, Hariri's resignation was quite inevitable given the sequence of regional events and the continued Iranian-Saudi tensions, which positioned Hariri between the Saudi anvil and Hezbollah's hammer.

In his absence, Lebanon has been awash with speculation the 47-year old prime minister may be held against his will in Saudi Arabia.

Saudi Arabia and members of Hariri's Future Movement have denied reports that he is under house arrest.

All Saudi citizens, including those residing in Lebanon, should leave Lebanon immediately, the oil-rich Kingdom announced on Thursday.

A brief statement carried by the state-run Saudi Press Agency called on all Saudis living in or visiting Lebanon to depart, and warned against travel to the country.

Two top Lebanese government officials said yesterday that Riyadh was holding Lebanon's Saad al-Hariri captive and a third told Reuters that the Saudi authorities had ordered Hariri to resign while he was in Riyadh last weekend, and put him under house arrest. He has not been seen in Lebanon since.

The Saudi minister for Gulf affairs has accused Lebanon of declaring war against the kingdom, and alleged that the Lebanese Shi'ite group Hezbollah was involved in firing a missile at Saudi Arabia from Yemen on Saturday.

Lebanese President Michel Aoun has said he will not consider the premier's resignation until the two meet in person.

Al-Mojeb says action was taken to suspend personal bank accounts, but did not disclose any figures.

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