Saad al-Hariri arrives in Paris for talks with MacronHeat Profit
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PARIS, Nov 18 — Saad al-Hariri, who resigned as Lebanon’s prime minister this month while in Saudi Arabia, arrived in Paris on Saturday for talks with French President Emmanuel Macron, a statement from Hariri’s press office said.
Mr Hariri told Lebanese President Michel Aoun in a phone call from Paris that he would be in Lebanon on Wednesday for Independence Day celebrations, Mr Aoun said on Twitter.
Mr Hariri will meet Mr Macron at noon and then attend a lunch in his honour with his wife and eldest son, the statement said.
Mr Macron said on Friday he would welcome Mr Hariri to Paris in as Lebanon’s prime minister despite his resignation and expected him to return to Beirut in the “coming days, weeks”.
Mr Hariri’s abrupt resignation on November 4 and continued stay in Saudi Arabia has caused fears for Lebanon’s stability. His visit to France with his family is seen as part of a possible way out of the crisis.
Okab Saqr, a member of parliament for Mr Hariri’s Future Movement, had said that after Mr Hariri’s visit to France he would have “a small Arab tour” before travelling to Beirut.
The crisis has thrust Lebanon into the regional rivalry pitting Saudi Arabia and its allies against a bloc led by Iran, which includes the heavily armed Lebanese Shia Hizbollah group.
Mr Aoun, a political ally of Hizbollah, has called Mr Hariri a Saudi hostage and refused to accept his resignation unless he returns to Lebanon. Saudi Arabia and Mr Hariri say his movements are not restricted.