Saudi Arab rejects accusation of detaining Lebanese PM

RSTV Bureau
File photo of Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri. PTI

File photo of Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri. PTI

Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri is free to leave Riyadh “when he pleases,” the Saudi foreign minister said today, rejecting accusations from Beirut that the kingdom was “detaining” him.

Hariri, who announced his shock resignation from Saudi Arabia on November 4, is living in the kingdom “of his own free will” and free to leave “when he pleases”, Adel al-Jubeir told a press conference in Riyadh.

“These are false allegations. The accusation that Saudi Arabia is detaining a prime minister, and particularly a political figure who is an ally… is untrue,” Jubeir said.

Lebanese President Michel Aoun had accused Saudi Arabia on Wednesday of detaining Hariri after what he said was his failure to return home for 12 days.

But today, Aoun said the announcement that Hariri would travel to France for talks with President Emmanuel Macron could be “the start of a solution”.