Lebanon's Saad Hariri to leave Saudi Arabia

ANI | Updated: Nov 18, 2017 07:02 IST

Riyadh [Saudi Arabia], Nov 18 (ANI): Saad Hariri, who recently sparked a crisis by resigning as Lebanese prime minister, has denied claims that he is being held hostage in Saudi Arabia and said that he was on the way to the airport.

"To say that I am held up in Saudi Arabia and not allowed to leave the country is a lie. I am on the way to the airport Mr. Sigmar Gabriel," Hariri tweeted.

Earlier, Hariri had accepted the invitation to leave Saudi Arabia and go to France.

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

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.

French President Emmanuel Macron has invited Lebanon's former Prime Minister Saad Hariri and his family to France in a bid to defuse tensions in the Middle East.

However, President Macron clarified that he is not offering Hariri a political "exile," but wants him to come to France for a while to help calm tensions in Lebanon.

"After speaking with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and the Lebanese Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri, the President has invited Saad al-Hariri and his family to France," the Élysee Palace said in a statement.

Hariri had 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. (ANI)