14:40 GMT +316 October 2019
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    Lebanon's Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri is seen at the governmental palace in Beirut, Lebanon October 24, 2017

    Hezbollah Leader Says Saudi Arabia Wants to Impose New PM on Lebanese People

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    Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah has commented on former Lebanese prime minister's shock resignation.

    Saudi Arabia has "blatantly interfered" in Lebanon's local issues by allegedly detaining Saad Hariri and putting him "under house arrest," Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah said, as quoted by Al Manar broadcaster, adding that the former Lebanese prime minister's "forced" resignation was unconstitutional because it had been done "under duress."

    According to the Hezbollah leader, the Shiite movement had "information that Saudi Arabia had demanded Israel to attack Lebanon in exchange for tens of billions of US dollars."

    "We doubt that Israel would start a war against Lebanon because it knows the high price of this war… Israel does not think that we are afraid or confused, we are ready to the confrontation," Nasrallah added.

    READ MORE: Riyadh Asks Saudi Nationals to Leave Lebanon Immediately

    Hariri's Fate After Shock Resignation

    Lebanese President Michel Aoun has reportedly told Saudi Arabia's envoy to Lebanon that Hariri must return to the country, calling the circumstances of his resignation unacceptable.

    However, according to French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian, Hariri was free in his movements and was not being held in Saudi Arabia.

    The statement came after French President Emmanuel Macron has stated that had an "informal contact" with Hariri, during his visit to Dubai, adding that France did not receive any request from Lebanese ex-prime minister to come to the country.

    Hariri, who was the prime minister from 2009 to 2011 and took office again in November 2016, resigned on November 4 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.

    Media reports citing a Lebanese official have suggested that Hariri's freedom was "restricted" in Riyadh, however, later his office stated that the former prime minister had met a number of European and US diplomats.

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


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