European Union says Hariri must return to Lebanon, warns against Saudi interference

European Union says Hariri must return to Lebanon, warns against Saudi interference

Mohammad is equally controversial, following a political crackdown involving 11 princes and dozens of former government ministers in Saudi Arabia last week.

Before his November 4 resignation, he led a 30-member government that included Hezbollah.

Under Lebanon's power-sharing system, its president is a Maronite Catholic, the prime minister a Sunni Muslim and the speaker of the House a Shiite Muslim.

On Thursday, he will visit the Saudi capital Riyadh.

Hariri explained that his resignation was not officially accepted in Lebanon because it was announced from Riyadh.

Hariri said: "Lebanon is a small country and it needs to be nonaligned, and Saudi Arabia always demands the best for Lebanon and stresses the importance of distancing itself. I don't care about my life - what matters to me is that Lebanon stays safe".

Hariri acknowledged in the interview that his resignation was unconventional, adding that he was ready to return to Lebanon to formally submit it and seek a settlement with Hezbollah. "We hope that with this visit we can speak about this topic".

Meanwhile the French presidency welcomed Hariri's comment that he would soon be returning to Lebanon.

El-Rai told reporters at Beirut's worldwide airport that Hariri's return would restore normalcy in Lebanon.

Patriarch Beshara al-Rai heads the Maronite church, which has a presence in Lebanon, Syria and Cyprus and follows an Eastern rite of the Roman Catholic church. So Lebanese take life one step at a time.

"We will carry these concerns to the king and crown prince and wish well", he said.

General Electric to focus to power, healthcare and aviation, cuts outlook
The conglomerate reported $0.29 earnings per share for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of $0.49 by ($0.20). Opus Investment Management Inc increased Vanguard (VEA) stake by 25,300 shares to 1.69M valued at $70.01M in 2017Q2.

Yahya said these statements likely had an impact.

The kingdom has been demanding that Hezbollah play no role in future government, accusing the group of supporting anti-Saudi Yemen rebels known as Houthis.

Saudi Arabia denies this. A White House statement on Saturday described Hariri as "a trusted partner of the United States in strengthening Lebanese institutions, fighting terrorism, and protecting refugees".

France joined Germany and the European Union on Monday in calling for an end to external interference in Lebanon - buffeted for decades by conflicts between bigger players in the region such as Iran and Syria.

"We are preoccupied by the situation in Lebanon... we are worried about its stability, we are worried about its integrity, we are worried about non-interference", Jean-Yves Le Drian said. All this, said Hariri, would have to stop. "But for there to be a political solution in Lebanon every political official must have total freedom in their movements".

On Sunday night, Hariri gave his first interview since the resignation speech. He repeatedly drank water, finishing his glass and asking for more.

"I suspect that this [statement by Hariri that he might return] is kind of a more honorable exit for everyone concerned", she said.

Hishammuddin, who is also the defence minister, said Malaysia's relationship with Saudi Arabia has not been problematic and the fight against Islamic State is an ongoing battle.

German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel said there was a danger of Lebanon falling back into "political and sometimes military confrontations".

SAAD AL-HARIRI: (Foreign language spoken).

Related Articles