Hariri in Paris for Talks with Macron
Lebanon’s Saad al-Hariri arrived in Paris on Saturday for talks with French President Emmanuel Macron, a statement from Hariri’s press office said.
Hariri resigned as Lebanese prime minister on Nov. 4 while in Saudi Arabia, plunging Lebanon into crisis.
He will meet Macron at noon, after which he and his wife and eldest son will attend a lunch in his honor, the statement said.
Macron said on Friday he would welcome Hariri to Paris on Saturday as Lebanon’s prime minister and expected him to return to Beirut in the “coming days, weeks”.
Hariri’s abrupt resignation and continued stay in Saudi Arabia caused fears over 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 Hariri’s Future Movement, had said that after Hariri’s visit to France he would have “a small Arab tour” before traveling to Beirut.
The crisis has thrust Lebanon into the bitter rivalry pitting Saudi Arabia and its allies against a bloc led by Iran, which includes the heavily armed Lebanese Shi‘ite Hezbollah group.
President Michel Aoun, a political ally of Hezbollah, has called Hariri a Saudi hostage and refused to accept his resignation unless he returns to Lebanon. Saudi Arabia and Hariri say his movements are not restricted.