The New Arab Logo

Breaking News
Play Video

The New Arab

Saudi FM: Hariri free to leave 'whenever he wants'

Riyadh has vigorously denied accusations that Hariri is being detained [Getty]

Date of publication: 16 November, 2017

Share this page:
  • 0

  • twitter
Saudi's foreign minister Adel al-Jubeir insisted that Hariri, who is a dual Saudi-Lebanese citizen "moves freely as a Saudi citizen and is able to leave whenever he wants".
Saudi Arabia's foreign minister has denied that Lebanon's Prime Minister Saad Hariri is being held against his will.

The rebuttal comes following Lebanese President Michel Aoun's accusations that Riyadh has "detained" Hariri, who has not returned to Beirut since his shock resignation on November 4.

"Saad Hariri lives in the kingdom by his own will and he resigned. Regarding his return to Lebanon, it is up to him and his assessment to the Lebanese security situation" Adel al-Jubeir said during a joint press conference with French foreign minister Jean-Yves Le Drian in Riyadh.

Jubeir insisted that Hariri, who is a dual Saudi-Lebanese citizen "moves freely as a Saudi citizen and is able to leave whenever he wants".

"These are false allegations. The accusation that Saudi Arabia is detaining a prime minister, and particularly a political figure who is an ally... is untrue."

Jubeir also accused Iran-backed Shia movement Hizballah of destabilising the region and called for their disarmament.

Earlier this week, Aoun said members of private security contractors Blackwater, founded by former US Navy SEAL and UAE-based Erik Prince, are guarding him, not Saudi authorities, without providing further information.

Speculation has swirled regarding the circumstances of Hariri's resignation since his surprise announcement in a statement read on Saudi Arabia's Al-Arabiya television channel.

Riyadh has since vigorously denied accusations that Hariri is being detained.

Le Drian arrived in Riyadh to meet with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to discuss developments in the Middle East along with boosting defence ties, hours after Hariri said he will travel to France.

The New ArabComments

Most Popular

Most Popular

    Read More