Lebanon’s Hariri says he will return in next 2 days
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Lebanon’s Hariri says he will return in next 2 days

Over a week after announcing resignation, Saad Hariri tweets that he is okay but will leave family in Saudi Arabia

Posters of Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri hang on Beirut's seaside corniche on November 10, 2017, with a caption reading below in Arabic: "#We_are_all_Saad." (AFP PHOTO / JOSEPH EID)
Posters of Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri hang on Beirut's seaside corniche on November 10, 2017, with a caption reading below in Arabic: "#We_are_all_Saad." (AFP PHOTO / JOSEPH EID)

BEIRUT — Lebanon’s Prime Minister Saad Hariri, who plunged the country into crisis with his surprise resignation during a trip to Saudi Arabia, said on Tuesday he will return home in the next two days.

In his first tweet in more than a week, Hariri told his followers that he is okay, and that he would be returning without his family, who will stay “in their home” in Saudi Arabia.

Lebanese President Michel Aoun has refused to accept the November 4 resignation, which came under mysterious circumstances, until Hariri returns to the country.

Lebanon has insisted the resignation was forced by Hariri’s Saudi patrons and that he is being kept in the kingdom against his will. Hariri denied those reports in a Sunday TV interview and said he’ll return to Lebanon within days.

Some Lebanese officials have said he should return with his family, so he could be free of any Saudi pressure.

In this photo released on October 30, 2017 by Lebanon’s official government photographer Dalati Nohra, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, right, meets with Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. (Dalati Nohra via AP)

Hariri’s resignation came amid mounting tensions between Saudi Arabia and Iran.

Hariri lashed out at Lebanon’s Hezbollah in his resignation speech and said he feared for his safety. Hezbollah, an Iran-backed group that is also a member of Hariri’s coalition government, has cast his resignation as a Saudi plot to plunge Lebanon into chaos, and has called on him to return.

Lebanon’s Prime Minister Saad Hariri gives a live TV interview in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, November 12, 2017, saying he will return to his country “within days”. (Future TV via AP)

Hariri, a dual Lebanese-Saudi national, has homes in Saudi Arabia. His wife and children have been living in Saudi Arabia for years.

Earlier Tuesday, Lebanon’s foreign minister flew to Brussels on the first leg of a European tour that aims to rally support for his country’s stability following Hariri’s resignation.

Foreign Minister Gibran Bassil’s first stop on Tuesday was in Brussels, followed by Paris. The visit aims to rally diplomatic support and explain Lebanon’s predicament following Hariri’s move.

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