Lebanese President says Hariri being ‘detained’ by Saudi Arabia

Lebanon on map

Lebanese President Michel Aoun on Wednesday said Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri was being detained by Saudi Arabia.

“We consider him to be held and detained, contrary to the Vienna Convention,” Mr. Aoun said of Hariri in a tweet on the official Lebanese presidency account.

He said that Lebanon was calling for the release of Mr. Hariri, and that there were talks between Arab and other countries on the matter.

Mr. Aoun’s remark came a day after Mr. Hariri said he was fine and would soon return home from Saudi Arabia.

“I am fine and God willing I am returning within the coming two days, let us calm down,” Mr. Hariri wrote on Twitter on Tuesday, hours after meeting Lebanese Maronite Patriarch Bishara al-Rai in Saudi Arabia.

It was Mr. Hariri’s first meeting with a high-ranking Lebanese official since his shock resignation as prime minister on Nov. 4 from Saudi Arabia, which also triggered speculation that he was being held there against his wish.

Mr. Hariri surfaced for the first time in a television interview on Sunday, a week after his surprising decision to quit.

In the interview with Future Television, Mr. Hariri rejected the growing claims that he was being held by Riyadh and promised to return to Lebanon “very soon.”

Under the country’s power-sharing system, the presidency always goes to a Maronite Christian while the prime minister is a Sunni Muslim and the speaker of parliament is a Shiite.


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