11:13 GMT +319 September 2019
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    Lebanese prime minister Saad Hariri (File)

    Lebanese Authorities Claim Ex-PM Hariri Being Held in Saudi Arabia - Reports

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    Hariri resigned on November 4 while visiting Saudi Arabia, citing concerns that he could be assassinated like his father.

    The office of the former Lebanese prime minister, Saad al-Hariri, has announced that he met with the French ambassador, as well as UK, US, EU diplomats in Riyadh.

    According to a Lebanese government official, authorities believe that Hariri is being held in Saudi Arabia.

    "Lebanon is heading towards asking foreign and Arab states to put pressure on Saudi to release Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri," the unnamed official has stated as cited by Reuters.

    The official further said, "Keeping Hariri with restricted freedom in Riyadh is an attack on Lebanese sovereignty. Our dignity is his dignity. We will work with states to return him to Beirut."

    Riyadh and Hariri aides have denied allegations that he is under house arrest, but haven't denied that movements are being restricted.

    READ MORE: US, Saudi Arabia Behind Hariri's Resignation — Adviser to Foreign Minister

    Hariri's resignation came in the wake of a statement by Saudi Minister for Gulf Affairs Thamer al-Sabhan, who stated that Riyadh expected Lebanon to "act to deter" Hezbollah movement, which is included in the country's government, as it is allegedly posing a threat to Saudi Arabia.

    Hariri Resigns Citing Assassination Fears

    Hariri, who was the prime minister from 2009 to 2011 and took office again in November 2016, resigned on Saturday while visiting Saudi Arabia, citing concerns he could be assassinated like his father and criticized the Lebanon-based Shiite Hezbollah paramilitary and political movement and accused Iran of alleged attempts to bring destruction to the region.

    READ MORE: Moscow Voices Concern About Situation in Lebanon After PM Hariri Resigns

    His father, Rafik Hariri, was killed in 2005 as a result of an explosion in Beirut, with a special tribunal in The Hague charging five Hezbollah members in connection with his murder.


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