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Saudi FM Rejects Macron's Claim That Riyadh Held Lebanese PM Captive

CC BY-SA 4.0 / B.alotaby / Riyadh SkylineRiyadh Skyline showing the King Abdullah Financial District (KAFD) and the famous Kingdom Tower
Riyadh Skyline showing the King Abdullah Financial District (KAFD) and the famous Kingdom Tower - Sputnik International
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The statement came in response to a recent remark by the French president, in which he said that during the 2017 political crisis, the Lebanese politician remained in the Kingdom against his will.

Saudi Arabia's Foreign Ministry denied French President Emmanuel Macron's claim that Lebanese Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri was held captive in Riyadh last November, local media reported on Tuesday.

The official said that Macron's comments do not correspond to reality and called them "untrue," adding that his country would further support peace and stability in Lebanon.

His statement came just a day after the French president claimed credit for successfully mediating last year's political crisis in Lebanon, arguing that thanks to him, an escalation of the conflict was prevented.

READ MORE: 'It's Our Action': Macron Takes Credit for Preventing War in Lebanon

A political crisis erupted in Lebanon following Hariri's shock resignation in November 2017 during his stay in Saudi Arabia. He remained in the Kingdom for two weeks, sparking speculations about him being held hostage, which further fueled tensions between Beirut and Riyadh.

In order to prevent an escalation of the conflict, French President Emmanuel Macron talked to Saudi leaders and invited the politician to Paris for talks, where he warned other countries in the region against meddling in Lebanon's affairs. After the negotiations were over, Hariri returned to Lebanon and revoked his resignation.

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