Lebanese PM should "return freely" to "close period of uncertainty": French PM

Source: Xinhua| 2017-11-15 03:08:02|Editor: Mu Xuequan
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PARIS, Nov. 14 (Xinhua) -- French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe on Tuesday said that his Lebanese counterpart Saad Al-Hariri should "return freely" to Lebanon to preserve the country's stability and to avoid a fresh crisis in a region already marred by civil wars and tense conflicts.

"The issue is that Saad al-Hariri can return freely to his country to clarify his situation in accordance with the Lebanese Constitution," Philippe told French lawmakers.

Hariri's surprise resignation from Saudi Arabia opened "a period of uncertainty that must be closed", he added.

"It's important that all Lebanese parties committed to respect peace, to keep Lebanon away from regional crisis and avoid interferences," he said.

In a TV appearance on Sunday, al-Hariri said he would return home "within the coming few days".

On Nov. 4, al-Hariri announced he quit his post in a televised speech aired from the Saudi capital of 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.

Officials in the Lebanese capital Beirut also claimed his resignation was forced by Saudi Arabia, al-Harir's main political ally.

Al-Hariri said on Nov. 12 that he would return to Beirut "within the coming few days", Saudi Future TV reported. It was al-Hariri's first live appearance since his sudden resignation on Nov. 4.

Lebanese President Michel Aoun had refused the resignation, calling al-Hariri to return home to formally submit it.