Report: Egypt, France Seeking to Convince Saudi to 'Keep Hariri in His Post'إقرأ هذا الخبر بالعربية
Egypt and France are mediating with Saudi Arabia to convince the kingdom to “keep Prime Minister Saad Hariri in his post,” a media report published Tuesday said.
“Intensive meetings were held overnight in the Cypriot capital between French officials and Egyptian officials accompanying President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi to Nicosia where he took part in an Egyptian-Cypriot-Greek summit,” al-Akhbar daily quoted diplomatic sources as saying.
The sources said Paris is “pressing Hariri to stay in his post,” telling him that “changes could be introduced to enhance his situation inside the Lebanese formula,” while expressing great concern of a possible governmental vacuum that would “strongly affect Lebanon's political, security and economic stability.”
“Sisi, who will receive Hariri in Cairo, supports this inclination, and negotiations are underway between Cairo, the UAE and Saudi Arabia for this purpose,” the sources added.
“Cairo is counting on making use of what was issued Sunday by the council of Arab foreign ministers to convince the Saudi side that there is no alternative to the current settlement in Lebanon, and that the Lebanese, as well as Arab and foreign capitals, have showed great insistence on keeping Hariri in his post,” the sources went on to say.
French President Emmanuel Macron had hosted Hariri in Paris on Saturday.
Lebanon has been gripped in a political crisis since Hariri announced his surprise resignation earlier this month from Riyadh, lambasting Iran and Hizbullah for their policies in Lebanon and the region.
The shock announcement sparked worries that Lebanon would be caught up in the spiraling tensions between Riyadh and Tehran, which back opposing political and armed groups across the region.
After resigning, Hariri spent two more weeks in Saudi Arabia amid rumors he was under de facto house arrest there, before traveling to Paris on Saturday. There, he pledged he would be in Lebanon in time to mark its independence day on Wednesday.
President Michel Aoun is yet to accept Hariri's resignation, which was not submitted in a formal manner.