ibusinesslines.com
ibusinesslines.com November 17, 2017


Hariri Appears in First TV Interview Since Resignation

14 November 2017, 10:53 | Erica Roy

Hariri plans to return to Lebanon, warns of sanctions over Hezbollah

Missing Lebanese PM test case of Saudi Arabia's emboldened new foreign policy

A dual Lebanese-Saudi national, the Saudi-allied Hariri unexpectedly announced his resignation on November 4 in a pre-recorded message on Saudi TV, criticizing Iran and Hezbollah, and saying he feared for his safety.

"The obscurity surrounding the condition of PM Saad Hariri since his resignation a week ago means that all positions and actions declared by him or attributed to him do not reflect the truth", President Aoun added.

On Twitter, some Lebanese shared clips of the video and wondered if the man in the back had some kind of message for Hariri, fueling reports that the prime minister was being held against his will. Hariri and the interviewer, Paula Yacoubian, realized the moment was caught on camera.

Lebanese President Michel Aoun has yet to formally accept Hariri's resignation and has criticized the circumstances surrounding it as "unacceptable". "Everyone may not agree with Hariri's politics, but he is our prime minister".

Hariri announced his resignation on November 4, citing several reasons, including the security situation in Lebanon, for his sudden decision.

"I am freely in the kingdom, and if I want to travel tomorrow, I will travel", Hariri said of his presence in Saudi Arabia. Hariri's family lives in Riyadh.


The kingdom has been demanding that Hezbollah play no role in future government, accusing the group of supporting anti-Saudi Yemen rebels known as Houthis.

The announcement from the Saudi mission at the United Nations came after the coalition fighting Yemen's rebels, known as Houthis, and their allies faced widespread global criticism over the closure, with the UN and over 20 aid groups saying it could bring millions of people closer to "starvation and death".

Asked by reporters about Iran's reaction to Saudi Arabia's possible provocative moves against Lebanon, Qassemi said, "We can not speak on the basis of assumptions".

Hariri was a regular participant in the marathon, giving the worldwide sports event a big boost. Organizers say more than 47,000 participated in the marathon. She first read the time from her phone and then reported to Hariri developments in Lebanon, including protests. "We will die for him", al-Masri said.

Iran and Hezbollah have accused Saudi Arabia of holding Mr Hariri hostage. All Lebanese, from all sects, are missing their leader.

In the northern city of Tripoli on Saturday, unknown assailants burned posters of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in a sign of the rising tensions.



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