clear
Monday November 20th, 2017 6:10PM

The Latest: Germany urges Saudis, Iran not to weaken Lebanon

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

BEIRUT (AP) — The Latest on developments surrounding Lebanon's Prime Minister Saad Hariri who resigned from Riyadh last week and the crisis between Saudi Arabia and Lebanon (all times local):

3:35 p.m.

Germany is calling on Saudi Arabia and Iran not to undermine Lebanon's stability following the resignation of Prime Minister Saad Hariri.

German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel called his Saudi counterpart Thursday to highlight the need to safeguard Lebanon's stability.

Government spokesman Steffen Seibert told reporters in Berlin on Friday that when discussing Lebanon "it's also necessary to talk about the role of Iran."

Seibert noted that Tehran has influence over Hezbollah and its support for the Shiite militia is viewed by Germany "with great concern."

He said that Germany "of course appeals to both countries, Saudi Arabia and Iran, not to weaken the political stability in Lebanon."

___

1:50 p.m.

A French official says that Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri has told foreign ambassadors that he is not a prisoner in Saudi Arabia, where he has been holed up since an unusual resignation announcement.

An official in French President Emmanuel Macron's office said on Friday that the French and U.S. ambassadors in Saudi Arabia met with Hariri, and that Hariri "says he is not a prisoner, the (Saudi crown) prince says he is not a prisoner."

Macron paid a surprise visit to Saudi Arabia on Thursday night and met with the crown prince, notably about rising tensions in Lebanon, a former French protectorate.

The official said Hariri did not ask to see Macron during the visit and that French officials "don't have any specific signs" that the Lebanese prime minister's life is in danger.

The official was not authorized to be publicly named according to presidential policy.

—Sylvie Corbet in Paris

___

12:50 p.m.

A senior Lebanese official says Beirut has formally told Saudi Arabia that the way Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri resigned — in a televised statement from Riyadh — is "unacceptable" and requested his return to the country.

The official says the Lebanese position was conveyed by President Michel Aoun to the Saudi charge d'affaires in Lebanon, Walid al-Bukhari, at the presidential palace on Friday.

The official spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity in line with regulations.

Aoun was meeting with foreign ambassadors to discuss Hariri's abrupt resignation last Saturday. Hariri, who cited Iran's meddling in the region, has not returned to Lebanon since.

The resignation has thrown the tiny nation in turmoil and officials have demanded his return, suspecting he is being held in the Saudi capital against his will.

—Zeina Karam in Beirut.

___

12:35 p.m.

Scores of citizens from Gulf Arab countries have started leaving Lebanon after their governments ordered them out of the Mediterranean country amid a major Riyadh-Beirut crisis.

Dozens of men and women from Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Bahrain were seen leaving Lebanon on Friday morning through Beirut's Rafik Hariri International Airport.

Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain and United Arab Emirates have ordered their citizens to leave Lebanon.

Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri shocked his country Saturday when he announced in a televised statement from Saudi Arabia that he was resigning. The unexpected move led to rumors that he is being held in Saudi Arabia against his will.

___

11:10 a.m.

France's foreign minister says French authorities believe Lebanese Premier Saad Hariri is "free in his movements" and not in custody in Saudi Arabia.

Jean-Yves Le Drian told Europe-1 radio on Friday that "to our knowledge" Hariri is not being held by Saudi authorities. Hariri abruptly announced his resignation last week in a television appearance from Saudi Arabia, and has not returned to his country since.

Le Drian said Hariri traveled from Saudi Arabia to the United Arab Emirates and back earlier this week "so we think he is free in his movements, and it is up to him to make his choices."

Le Drian's office wouldn't say where the French information came from.

French President Emmanuel Macron discussed Lebanon, a former French protectorate, during a surprise visit Thursday to Riyadh.

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP World News
© Copyright 2017 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
JC Penney reports rising same-store sales
J.C. Penney reports 3rd-quarter loss but tops expectations
7:47AM ( 12 minutes ago )
The Latest: Germany urges Saudis, Iran not to weaken Lebanon
Germany call on Saudi Arabia and Iran not to undermine Lebanon's stability following resignation of Prime Minister Hariri
7:39AM ( 20 minutes ago )
Talks on Pacific trade pact unfinished, progress uncertain
Conflicting reports on progress toward Pacific Rim trade pact minus U.S. as leaders gather for APEC summit
7:37AM ( 22 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Report: IS leader may be in eastern Syrian city of Boukamal
Syrian army-linked media: IS leader al-Baghdadi may be in a militant pocket in Boukamal, which fell to government forces
7:05AM ( 55 minutes ago )
Ex-British double agent says Russian spies must save world
A former British intelligence officer who worked as a double agent for the Soviet Union says Russian spies now have "the difficult and critical mission" of saving the world
7:04AM ( 56 minutes ago )
The Latest: Bail posted for Catalan parliament speaker
Spain's Supreme Court says a judge has ordered the release of Catalan parliament speaker after bail has been posted
6:59AM ( 1 hour ago )
AP World News
JC Penney reports rising same-store sales
J.C. Penney reports 3rd-quarter loss but tops expectations
7:47AM ( 12 minutes ago )
Talks on Pacific trade pact unfinished, progress uncertain
Conflicting reports on progress toward Pacific Rim trade pact minus U.S. as leaders gather for APEC summit
7:37AM ( 22 minutes ago )
China, US leaders square off over multi-nation trade deals
Chinese President Xi Jinping says nations need to stay committed to economic openness or risk being left behind.
7:30AM ( 30 minutes ago )
Pope warns nuclear deterrence only a false sense of security
Pope urges leaders to pursue world free of nuclear weapons, says deterrence is false security
7:28AM ( 31 minutes ago )
EU says latest Brexit talks yielded no major decisions
The European Union's chief Brexit negotiator said Friday that no major decisions were taken on Brexit during the latest round of talks this week
7:21AM ( 38 minutes ago )