Saudi Arabia says outgoing Lebanese PM free to leave any time

Riyadh: Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister on Thursday said the Lebanese Prime Minister was free to leave at any time, following allegations that he was detained in the kingdom.

At a joint press conference with his French counterpart Jean-Yves Le Drian, Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir insisted that Saad Hariri was a Lebanese-Saudi citizen, adding he was staying in Saudi Arabia of his own free will, Efe reported.

Le Drian said Hariri had accepted French President Emmanuel Macron’s invitation, which was issued on Wednesday, to visit Paris.

The French minister arrived in Riyadh late Wednesday to meet with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and Hariri, in hopes of addressing the situation in Lebanon.

On Wednesday, Lebanese President Michel Aoun said in a tweet on the official Lebanese presidency account that Hariri had remained in detention in Saudi Arabia since he had announced he was stepping down in a televised speech during a visit to Riyadh on November 4.

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