Lebanon’s Hariri heading to Egypt amid political tensions
PARIS – The Associated Press
Earlier in the day, Hariri apparently went for a morning jog, leaving his residence in a high-end Paris neighborhood wearing a sweatshirt, running shoes and shorts - despite the 9 C (48 F) temperature.
He soon returned, then departed again, this time surrounded by bodyguards and escorted by a police convoy. His office said he was going to Egypt to meet with President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi.
The Lebanese politician’s whereabouts have prompted intense scrutiny since he made a surprise resignation announcement from Saudi Arabia on Nov. 4, unleashing a political crisis in Lebanon.
In Lebanon, the army chief called on troops to stand firm against any attempt to incite strife country amid the crisis triggered by Hariri’s resignation. Gen. Joseph Aoun’s comments came in a memorandum to the soldiers on the eve of Independence Day.
The military "should firmly confront any attempt to take advantage of the current circumstances with the aim of inciting strife," Aoun said. He also called on troops be on high alert along the border with Israel, to face any "threats or violations by the Israeli enemy."
Before leaving Riyadh, Hariri dismissed reports about his alleged detention in the kingdom as "rumors."
The Independence Day ceremony is usually headed by the president, prime minister and parliament speaker, and Hariri’s presence could help calm uncertainties.