Is Lebanese PM Hariri a Prisoner of Saudi Arabia?

France: Hariri Needs Freedom of Movement

Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri, who attempted to resign last weekend, reportedly met with a French diplomat at an undisclosed location within Saudi Arabia, where both he and Saudi Arabia’s crown prince claimed he is “not a prisoner.” But is he?

France is clearly far from convinced, as the most recent statements out of the French Foreign Ministry said they “wish Hariri had all his freedom of movement,” and added that he should be able to “make his own choices” regarding his future in Lebanon.

Germany, by contrast, says they have no evidence Hariri is being held against his will. That may well be the case, but there’s also no really solid evidence he’s not being held against his will either. Since his resignation, Saudi media has reported repeatedly that he left the country, but he’s still there.

The claim of Hariri facing an “assassination plot,” his excuse for resigning, itself appears to have originated in Saudi media. Lebanese officials have refused to accept the resignation until  he returns to Lebanon, and have demanded Saudi Arabia allow him to do so.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.