Hariri accepts invitation to travel to France

ANI | Updated: Nov 16, 2017 22:01 IST

Riyadh [Saudi Arabia], Nov 16 (ANI): Lebanon's former Prime Minister Saad Hariri has accepted the invitation to leave Saudi Arabia and go to France.

"He will come to France and the prince has been informed," reported CNN, quoting French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian, referring to Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who held talks with the Foreign Minister.

"Hariri, whom I will see soon today, has been invited to France with his family by President Macron," added Le Drian.

The statements were made in a joint press conference with Le Drian's Saudi counterpart Adel al-Jubeir, indicating that France has played a key role in defusing tensions in the Middle East and played a key role mediating Lebanon's latest political crisis.

Hariri unexpectedly resigned in a televised address from Riyadh and said that he feared for his life on November 4.

He has not returned to Lebanon since then.

According to reports, the Lebanese President Michel Aoun has refused to accept his resignation before he returns.

On Wednesday, Lebanese President Michel Aoun for the first time publicly accused the Saudi authorities of holding him, saying "nothing justified" his absence.

Adel al-Jubeir said the claim that Hariri was being held up was "false" and he was in Saudi Arabia by his own will.

A day before, French President Emmanuel Macron invited Hariri and his family to France. (ANI)