Saad al-Hariri, who resigned as Lebanon’s prime minister this month while in Saudi Arabia, arrived in Paris on Saturday . Pascale Davies reports.
WARNING: CONTAINS FLASH PHOTOGRAPHY Lebanon's Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri in Paris for talks with the French President on a crisis sparked by his resignation. Dispelling accusations by Lebanon's president that he is being held in Saudi Arabia against his will. His resignation and prolonged stay in Riyadh has caused fears for Lebanon's stability. The visit to France, Lebanon's former colonial ruler, is seen as part of a possible way out of the crisis. Lebanon's President Michel Aoun has refused to accept the resignation, unless he does so in Lebanon. And says Hariri has told him he would be back in the country by Wednesday, in time for the country's independence day celebrations. The Prime Minister quit unexpectedly two weeks ago, during a vista to Saudi Arabia. In a televised speech he accused Iran and the heavily armed Lebanese Sh'ite Hezbollah group of sowing strife in the Arab world. The crisis has thrust Lebanon into the regional rivalry, pitting sunni Saudi Arabia against a bloc led by Iran, which includes the heavily armed Lebanese Shi'ite Hezbollah group. Saudi Arabia recalled its envoy to Berlin on Saturday (November 18) over comments by Germany's foreign minister that suggested Hariri was being held against his will. After meeting Macron, Hariri is expected to visit a number of Arab capitals before finally heading back to Lebanon.