Hariri Arrives in Beirut after Talks in Egypt, Cyprus

إقرأ هذا الخبر بالعربية W460

Prime Minister Saad Hariri arrived late on Tuesday at Beirut's Rafik Hariri International Airport, returning to a country which has been reeling from his surprise resignation since he announced it from Riyadh on November 4.

Hariri arrived in Beirut from Cyprus, where he met with Cypriot President Nikos Anastasides.

Hariri's media office said he earlier met in Cairo with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, who has sought to defuse the tensions between Hariri's sponsors in Saudi Arabia and the powerful Lebanese Hizbullah and its Iranian patrons.

Hariri said he and Sisi discussed the need for "distancing oneself from regional policies," in an apparent reference to the power struggle between Saudi Arabia and Iran that has played out in Lebanon.

"Tomorrow we have Independence Day in Lebanon, God willing it will be for all Lebanese. Like I said in Paris, my political position will be (clarified) in Lebanon," he said.

A statement from the Egyptian presidency said Sisi "affirmed the need for all parties in Lebanon to reach a consensus... and the rejection of foreign interference in Lebanese internal affairs."

Hariri's arrival in Beirut on Tuesday evening follows two weeks of deep uncertainty after he announced his resignation on November 4 in a speech from Saudi Arabia.

Sisi's office said he received a phone call from President Michel Aoun in which they discussed "the importance of preserving Lebanon's stability and elevating Lebanon's national interests."

Hariri later flew from Egypt to Cyprus to meet President Anastasiades for talks on "the latest developments in Lebanon and the region," the premier's office said.

Cyprus government spokesman Nicos Christodoulides tweeted that the two leaders had a "warm and fruitful" meeting.

Hariri's failure to return to Lebanon since his resignation had sparked rumors he was being held in Riyadh against his will, which both he and Saudi officials have denied.

Speaking after talks in Paris on Saturday with French President Emmanuel Macron, who is also seeking to broker a way out of the crisis, Hariri said he would "make known my position" once back in Beirut.

Hariri's mysterious decision to step down -- which Aoun has refused to accept while he remains abroad -- has raised fears over Lebanon's fragile democracy.

In his resignation speech he accused Saudi Arabia's arch-rival Iran and Hizbullah of destabilizing Lebanon.

Hariri -- whose father, former prime minister Rafiq Hariri, was killed in a 2005 car bombing blamed on Hizbullah -- took over last year as head of a shaky national unity government which includes the powerful Shiite movement.

A dual Saudi citizen who has previously enjoyed Riyadh's backing, he resigned saying he feared for his life.

Saudi Arabia's Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir meanwhile insisted from Madrid on Friday that "unless Hizbullah disarms and becomes a political party, Lebanon will be held hostage by Hizbullah and, by extension, Iran.”

- Battle for influence -

Hariri's resignation was widely seen as an escalation of the battle for influence between Sunni Saudi Arabia and Shiite Iran, which back opposing sides in the conflicts in Syria and Yemen.

His attempt to step down also coincides with a purge of more than 200 Saudi princes, ministers and businessmen.

Riyadh on Saturday recalled its ambassador to Berlin in protest at comments by Germany's Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel which were interpreted as a suggestion that Hariri acted under Saudi orders.

Without mentioning Saudi Arabia directly, Gabriel had said Thursday that he shared concerns about the threat of instability and bloodshed in Lebanon and warned against "adventurism."

"Lebanon has earned the right to decide on its fate by itself and not become a pinball of Syria or Saudi Arabia or other national interests," he said in the week.

Germany's foreign ministry had yet to comment on the row, but in a statement it welcomed Hariri's "imminent return to Lebanon."

France, which held mandate power over Lebanon for the first half of the 20th century, plans to bring together international support for Lebanon, depending on how the situation develops.

The French president has also telephoned his counterparts in the U.S. and Egypt, Donald Trump and Sisi, as well as the Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman and U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to discuss "the situation in the Middle East."

He and Trump "agreed on the need to work with allies to counter Hizbullah’s and Iran's destabilizing activities in the region," according to a White House statement Saturday.

However, Macron told reporters Friday that France wanted "dialogue" with Iran and aimed to "build peace… not to choose one side over another."

Comments 11
Thumb i.report 21 November 2017, 23:51

Mdr!

Thumb tric.portugal 22 November 2017, 00:30

Gonna be arrested by the Lebanese Cristhians !!! ??? Riade...Paris...Cairo...Chipre... the Head of the Cristhians in Lebanese Political System, demands the return imidiatly of the Lebanese Prime-Minister, after the declaration of War to Lebanon made by the Saudis-Israel, and what Hariri do...Ryahd...Paris...Cairo...Chipre...The King of Meca demands that the Lebanese Prime-minister came imidiatly to Rhiad, and Hariri take the first plane...the desrepected for the Cristhians in the Lebanese political sistem was...

Thumb tric.portugal 22 November 2017, 00:36

"Hariri Arrives in Beirut after Talks in Egypt, Cyprus"
.
talks in Egipt, Cyprus!!!???...Hariri Arrives in Beirute after talks in Ryahd, Paris, Egypt and Cyprus!!! in Ryahd, resignated...

Thumb tric.portugal 22 November 2017, 00:49

"Hariri Arrives in Beirut after Talks in Egypt, Cyprus"
.
if the Prime-Minister return to Beirute, then the first stop is to go the oficial Residence of the Lebanese President !!! if this not happen...then the Army of Comander Supreme of Lebanon must arrested Hariri!!!...is terrorist...

Thumb tric.portugal 22 November 2017, 01:03

In the Lebanese Media there are picture of Hariri enter in the Presidencial Palace !!!??? the Aeroport of Beirute must be in Ryahad for Hariri delay to the meeting with the President of Lebanon...

Thumb Kalzyturks 22 November 2017, 03:08

Tric.portugal

Why do you attempt to talk on behalf of Christians 
When you know there are alot of christians (not Christhians) who support Harriri and represent the Christians in the polotical Arena.

Gegaee Hbash and many other Christian leaders to name a few who are in Hariri political side.

You seem to be scare mongering and keep repeating your self over n over again.

I don't know of any Chrithians in Lebanon accept Fellow Christians if you know what i mean mate?

Thumb tric.portugal 22 November 2017, 04:29

yes..i´m going continuated to repeat many times...i do not speak in name of cristhians specialy in Lebanon!!! i only say that Hariri is dog!!! provocated a Hariri Crisis in Lebanon in the precisily moment that the Cristhians in Lebanon start to talk and take actions for increase the velocity of return the refugies...

Thumb Kalzyturks 22 November 2017, 05:29

So what is your obsession with Christhians if you do not speak in the name of the Christhians in Lebanon.

You not making much sense

Im not Attacking you but you are not being clear.

You are not be transparent in your arguement and your statements are a little confusing.

Why then are you Representing or speak in behalf of Christhians when they do not agree with you at all.

Thumb tric.portugal 22 November 2017, 11:50

"Why then are you Representing or speak in behalf of Christhians when they do not agree with you at all."
.
i do not representing or speaking in behalf of the Cristhians...i´m only say that is a terrorist behavour stooped the process of return of the refugies started in Lebanon and boycooted by the Saudis...a act of terrorism...

Thumb lebanonforever 22 November 2017, 03:42

You sir are one seriously disturbed dope!

I cannot ever make out what point you're trying to make..

obsessive comments about conspiracies bla bla bla

learn to write or don't write at all

Thumb lebanonforever 22 November 2017, 03:43

Agree.. this Tric.portugal is in need of help