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Lebanese president hopes Hariri visit to France will end crisis

Lebanese president hopes Hariri visit to France will end crisis”

The Elysee Palace's statement came shortly after it said French President Emmanuel Macron invited Hariri to France following a conversation between Macron, Hariri and Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

Hariri has been in the Saudi capital since announcing there on November 4 that he was stepping down.

Hariri said on Sunday he would return to Lebanon "within days" to resolve issues with the militant group Hezbollah, his rivals in a coalition government formed past year.

The Saudi regime is said to have ordered Hariri to resign in an effort to destabilize Lebanon.

Saudi Arabia has denied forcing Hariri to resign or detaining him.

Hezbollah, a group of Iran-backed Shiite Muslims centered in Lebanon, is the dominant political and military force in Lebanon.

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Aoun has said he will not formally accept Hariri's resignation until he returns to Lebanon. According to the New York Times, Nasrallah said, "We, Hezbollah, did not wish for this".

El-Rai and Saudi Charge d'Affaires Walid al-Bukhari said the kingdom is not likely to deport Lebanese citizens as punishment for the participation of the militant Hezbollah group in Lebanese politics.

The former presidential consultant added that Egypt plays a pivotal role in the endeavors aiming to resolve the current Lebanese crisis by virtue of its political influence on the Arab and regional scales, as well as it strong ties with all countries.

"We consider him detained, arrested" in violation of worldwide laws, Aoun wrote on his official Twitter account. He said that Saudi Arabia had violated the International Declaration of Human Rights of the United Nations, given that the prime minister is being held without charge. However, Nasrallah has also said that he would not comment on Hariri's speech that he gave to announce his resignation because he saw it as a "Saudi statement". He said on Thursday on Twitter he hoped "the crisis is over" and the France visit would open the door to a solution. A Saudi-owned TV station showed them chatting in the Lebanese leader's home in Riyadh without giving details about the meeting.

Lebanese Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil has toured European capitals seeking diplomatic help to end the crisis.

Meanwhile, in Riyadh, Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir said the kingdom "rejected" allegations that it is holding Hariri against his will.



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