Lebanon's Hariri to fly to Paris within 48 hours: sources
November 16 2017 12:29 PM
Lebanon's Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri is seen at the governmental palace in Beirut, Lebanon
Lebanon's Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri is seen at the governmental palace in Beirut, Lebanon

Reuters/Beirut

Lebanon's Saad al-Hariri is expected to leave Saudi Arabia for France within 48 hours, before flying home to Beirut to officially submit his resignation as Lebanese prime minister, a source close to Hariri told Reuters on Thursday.

Hariri announced his resignation in a televised broadcast from Saudi Arabia on Nov. 4, and has not yet returned to Lebanon. He said on Wednesday he would return soon.

French President Emmanuel Macron said in a statement on Wednesday that he had invited Hariri to France after speaking to him and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. The invitation is to visit for a few days and is not an offer of political exile, Macron said, speaking in Germany.

Hariri is expected to go to France with his family, the source said.

Lebanese President Michel Aoun has said he will not accept Hariri's resignation until he returns to Lebanon to formally tender it and explain his reasons.

Hariri travelled to Riyadh on Nov. 3 before abruptly resigning a day later, and he has remained in the Saudi capital since then. Top Lebanese officials and senior politicians close to Hariri have told Reuters he was forced to quit.

Hariri and Saudi Arabia have both denied he is being held in Riyadh or was coerced to resign.



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