Macron briefs Netanyahu on Lebanon crisis talks

Ahmad Tajeldin Abdullah says Iran and Saudi Arabia are using Lebanon as a battleground for their conflict

Lebanese foreign minister Gebran Bassil will not be attending the emergency Arab League meeting on Sunday to discuss Iran's interference in the affairs of Arab countries.

Asked about the date of the visit for talks, Le Drian replied: "Mr. Hariri's schedule is a matter for Mr. Hariri".

Lebanon's political scene is split between supporters of the Iran-backed Hizbollah group and its allies and a Saudi-supported alliance led by Mr Hariri. The Lebanese president has accused the Saudis of holding him against his will. His visit to France with his family to meet President Emmanuel Macron is seen as part of a possible way out of the crisis.

Hariri has been in the Saudi capital for two weeks after his unexpected resignation announcement. He also said he was afraid for his life.

On Friday, Hariri said in a tweet that his presence in Saudi Arabia was for "consultations on the future of the situation in Lebanon and its relations with the surrounding Arab region". That raised fears of more punitive actions to come. The official didn't name any specific nations but said Lebanon should be protected from the "dangers that regional crises can pose to it". The prime minister is traditionally from the Sunni community, of which Hariri is the most influential leader.

Hariri landed before dawn Saturday at an airport used for private jets in Le Bourget north of Paris, and came in a convoy to his Paris residence in a high-end neighborhood, where police stood guard.

Macron talked with U.S. President Donald Trump on telephone and they discussed the Middle East on Saturday.

In Lebanon, Hariri has long been an ally of Riyadh.

He said the meeting would send a "strong message" for Iran to step back from its current policies.

While Macron insists that he's not offering "exile", Hariri's return could be complicated by Lebanon's internal tensions.

Perhaps it would. However, in a statement Aoun cautioned that Hariri would still have to officially hand over his resignation in Lebanon and remain there until such time that a new government is installed.

Saudi Arabia accuses Hezbollah of a role in the launching of a missile at Riyadh from Yemen this month.

"To say that I am held up in Saudi Arabia and not allowed to leave the country is a lie".



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