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Saad Hariri: Lebanon return from Saudi Arabia 'within days'

14 Noviembre 2017

"We appeal first of all to the political forces to focus on Lebanon and what they can deliver to their citizens, Prime Minister Hariri to return to his country and the unity government.to focus on domestic achievements", the bloc's top diplomat, Federica Mogherini, told reporters.

"I have resigned. I am going to Lebanon very soon and I will resign in a constitutional manner", he said in the first television interview after his resignation.

Lebanese President Michel Aoun said on Saturday Hariri, who announced his resignation in a broadcast from Saudi Arabia, has been "kidnapped" and must have immunity.

"We are all angry", said Fadi Abdullah, a shop owner in west Beirut, summing up the mood of the nation.

"There's just a lot of contradictions and a lack of clarity in what he was saying, so I think it just reinforces the widespread sentiment in Lebanon that he is being used by the Saudi Arabian government as a mechanism to put pressure on the Lebanese government to put pressure on Hezbollah which would put pressure on Iran".

Al Jazeera's Zeina Khodr, reporting from Lebanon's capital, Beirut, said Hariri's televised appearance on Sunday was aimed at persuading the people in Lebanon that he was not being held against his will - a widespread belief in the country.

Cardinal Bechara Boutros Rai, head of the Maronite church, Lebanon's largest Christian community, was heading to Saudi Arabia on November 13 and was expected to meet with Hariri, the Associated Press reported.

The Saudi-led coalition's easing of its blockade on famine-threatened Yemen is "a step in the right direction" but does not go far enough, the European Union and United Nations said. However, according to MENA News Agency, the Saudi administration made an "urgent meeting" call to Arab foreign ministers.

It has also stoked fears of an escalation in the regional divide between Iran and the Gulf states, primarily Saudi Arabia, with Lebanon on the front lines.

Aoun refused to accept Hariri's resignation unless he tendered it in person in Lebanon.

Hariri was appointed prime minister late last year.

This article has been adapted from its original source.

In a statement from his office, Aoun said "Hariri's freedom has been restricted and conditions have been imposed regarding his residence and the contacts he may have, even with members of his family".

Nevertheless those close to Aoun said the president welcomed Hariri's comments. Hezbollah and the Houthis deny that the Lebanese group is carrying out anti-Saudi activities in Yemen. "It's an excellent and special relationship", he said. He added that Hariri says he is free to move and "we don't have any reason not to believe him".

"I wanted to make a positive shock for the Lebanese people so the people know how dangerous the situation we are in", he said.

Saad Hariri: Lebanon return from Saudi Arabia 'within days'