Lebanon’s Hariri free to move around in Saudi: French FM

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RIYADH, Nov. 10 (Xinhua) — France’s Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said on Friday that he believed Lebanese Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri is free to move around in Saudi Arabia.

“As for as we know, we believed he is free to move around in Saudi and he makes his own decisions,” the minister told Europe 1 Radio.

Le Drian is in Riyadh with France’s President Emmanuel Macron in an unscheduled visit to Saudi Arabia late Thursday.

Macron, who came from the United Arab Emirates, held talks with Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who recently launched a massive anti-corruption crackdown.

“The French president condemned the Houthi missile attack on Riyadh and stressed France’s stand and solidarity with the Kingdom,” the official Saudi Press Agency said.

It added that the two leaders also discussed the latest developments in the Middle East and their efforts for security and stability in the region, including joint coordination efforts in the fight against terrorism.

Macron’s visit came as tensions are rising between the Sunni kingdom and Shiite Iran over Lebanon and Yemen.

On Saturday, Lebanese prime minister Saad al-Hariri announced his resignation in Riyadh. He accused Iran, a major foe of Saudi Arabia, of interfering in Lebanese internal affairs through the militant group Hezbollah, and said his life is under danger.

But Hezbollah accused Saudi Arabia of forcing Hariri to resign and putting him under house arrest.

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