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Lebanon's Hariri lands in Cyprus, meets its president- Hariri Twitter feed

22 November 2017

Hariri, a Sunni Muslim politician and longtime ally of Saudi Arabia, announced his resignation in a televised speech on November 4, shortly after landing in the Saudi capital, Riyadh.

According to Al-Akhbar's sources, France insists that PM Hariri remains in office, expressing worries about any governmental vacuum that results from the resignation, "which may lead into a political, security and economic instability".

Lebanon's President Michel Aoun on Tuesday told Arab states that dealing with Lebanon required wisdom otherwise the country would be pushed "towards the fire". Aoun, a Christian, is a political ally of Hezbollah.

"We, and he, desire to see stability in Lebanon". But he left Saudi Arabia for Paris on Saturday by invitation of French President Emmanuel Macron, before traveling on to Beirut by way of Egypt and Cyprus.

News of the joint Egypt-French effort to persuade Hariri to find a way out of the crisis was reported by Al-Akhbar, an authoritative Beirut daily that takes an anti-Saudi stand.

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In Lebanon, the army chief called on troops to stand firm against any attempt to incite strife in the country amid the crisis triggered by Hariri's resignation.

Saudi Arabia, Hariri's long-time political patron, is Iran's arch-foe in the region.

France, which controlled Lebanon between the world wars, has sought to play a key role in defusing tension with Macron personally getting involved and putting him at the heart of a regional power struggle that will test his diplomatic skills.

Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri has visited the grave of his father, the late Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri.

On Saturday, U.S. President Donald Trump spoke with Macron about the situation in Lebanon and Syria. That was met by a rebuke in Tehran.

Lebanon's Hariri lands in Cyprus, meets its president- Hariri Twitter feed