Saad al-Hariri returns to Lebanon for the first time since resigning as prime minister in a speech made from Saudi Arabia. Rough cut (no reporter narration).
ROUGH CUT. NO REPORTER NARRATION. Saad al-Hariri attended independence day celebrations in Beirut on Wednesday (November 22) after returning to Lebanon for the first time since declaring his resignation as prime minister. Hariri's sudden decision to quit on November 4 pitched Lebanon into crisis. Lebanese President Michel Aoun greeted him warmly as he arrived at a military parade, where Hariri took the seat reserved for prime minister. It is not clear if Hariri will stick by his resignation now he is back in the country. Aoun refused to recognize his decision while Hariri was abroad. Hariri met with Aoun and Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri on Wednesday at the presidential palace, where he is expected to clarify his position. Lebanese state officials and senior politicians close to Hariri say Saudi Arabia forced him to quit and held him in the kingdom, which Saudi Arabia and Hariri have denied. The resignation took even Hariri's aides by surprise.