Where is Hariri, Beirut asks Riyadh
BEIRUT - The Associated Press
A political crisis has gripped Lebanon and shattered the relative peace maintained by its coalition government since Prime Minister Saad Hariri’s announcement Nov. 4 from the Saudi capital that he was resigning.
Lebanese officials have insisted on the return home of Hariri from Saudi Arabia amid rumors he is being held against his will. Saudi officials have said that their measures against Lebanon are in response to the militant Hezbollah’s group support of anti-Saudi rebels in Yemen known as Houthis.
Lebanese President Michel Aoun called on Saudi Arabia to clarify why Hariri hasn’t returned home since announcing his resignation saying that “the obscurity regarding Hariri’s conditions makes anything that he says or does not reflect truth.” It was an indication that Aoun does not recognize Hariri’s resignation.
In statements released by his office, Aoun called on Saudi Arabia “that is linked to us through deep brotherly and friendly relations to clarify the reasons that are preventing” Hariri from returning to Lebanon.
White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in a statement that Washington calls upon “all states and parties to respect Lebanon’s sovereignty, independence, and constitutional processes.”
“In this sensitive time, the U.S. also rejects any efforts by militias within Lebanon or by any foreign forces to threaten Lebanon’s stability, undermine Lebanese government institutions, or use Lebanon as a base from which to threaten others in the region,” Sanders said. She was apparently referring to Hezbollah and Saudi Arabia.