Report: Lebanese PM Leaves Saudi Arabia for France

Hariri May Be Heading Into Exile

After two weeks in Saudi Arabia that saw a surprise resignation and repeated reports he was being held against his will, reports Friday evening have Lebanese PM Saad Hariri leaving Saudi Arabia, and heading to France.

Hariri has denied being held against his will, but had repeatedly been reported in the Saudi press to have left the country in the past two weeks, only to still be there. Others have reported the Saudis are keen to see Hariri replaced with his elder brother.

Hariri says his long stay in Saudi Arabia was because he needed time to discuss Lebanon’s future. The rest of Lebanon is waiting to see what this has resulted in, as many top officials are under the impression he’s been being held.

Even Hariri heading to Paris doesn’t necessarily mean he’s “free,” either, with reports that his travel to France is basically him heading into exile. France has denied this, but there are no details on when, or even if, he’d be leaving France for Lebanon.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.