After resignation and extended absence Hariri leaves Cairo for home

Yolanda Curtis
November 21, 2017

The resignation sparked a political crisis in Lebanon and put it on the front line of a regional power struggle between Saudi Arabia and Iran. He plans to discuss threats against Israel from Iran and its Lebanese proxy terror group, Hezbollah.

Hariri left Paris earlier on Tuesday after a three-day visit to go to Cairo where he held talks with Egyptian leader Abdel Fattah al-Sisi.

The Lebanese daily newspaper Al-Akhbar reported on Tuesday that France and Egypt seek a mediation with Saudi to keep the Lebanese Prime Minister in his post.

He has since been in Paris, where he met French President Emmanuel Macron. Aoun spoke in a televised speech on the eve of the country's independence day celebrations.

But Lebanon's president and other politicians close to Hariri say they believe he was coerced into resigning. "We want to avoid a proliferation of crises that could get out of control".

The frenetic diplomatic maneuvering around Hariri's mysterious resignation just weeks after he formed a coalition government with Hezbollah features a cast of powerful characters and countries with competing agendas.

It quoted informed sources as saying that Aoun has told France and Hariri that "everything that has happened until now indicates that the political settlement is still in place".

In Syria, for instance, Iranian-backed Hezbollah militants fight alongside President Bashar al Assad's forces against a myriad of Sunni militant groups, some of which are funded by the Saudis.

The Lebanese president has yet to accept Hariri's resignation. Hariri's government, a power-sharing coalition formed past year, includes Hezbollah.

Saudi Arabia's Mohammed bin Salman - also known as MbS - has hit worldwide headlines for his recent radical shift in policies, including allowing women to drive in the kingdom and allegedly clamping down on corruption, even among royal ranks. Arab foreign ministers meeting in Cairo, Egypt, on Sunday issued a resolution against Iran, claiming Tehran is destabilizing the region and threatening to "brief" the UN Security Council on Iran's activities.

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