However, he says his family will stay in Saudi Arabia
Saad al-Hariri, Lebanon’s Prime Minister who resigned from his post on Nov. 4, said he was fine and would return to Lebanon in the next two days.
Writing on Twitter, Mr. Hariri urged Lebanese people to remain calm and said his family would stay in Saudi Arabia, calling it “their country”. Mr. Hariri’s resignation while in Saudi Arabia pitched Lebanon into political crisis.
Top Lebanese government officials and senior politicians close to Mr. Hariri believe Saudi Arabia coerced him into quitting and has been holding him against his will ever since, though Mr. Hariri and Riyadh have denied this. Lebanese President Michel Aoun, who has stated that he believes Riyadh is restricting Mr. Hariri’s freedom, has refused to his resignation until his return from Saudi Arabia.
Meanwhile, Lebanon’s Christian Maronite Patriarch, on a historic visit to Saudi Arabia, expressed support on Tuesday for the reasons behind the resignation.
Patriarch Bechara al-Rai met Mr. Hariri as well as King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman as part of a trip that was planned well before Mr. Hariri’s resignation. “Hariri is returning as fast as possible and I support the reasons for his resignation,” Patriarch Rai was quoted as saying by Saudi-owned Al Arabiya television. An official visit to Saudi Arabia by such a senior non-Muslim cleric is significant as a rare act of religious openness by the conservative Muslim country.
Patriarch Rai heads the Maronite church, which has a presence in Lebanon, Syria and Cyprus and follows an Eastern rite of the Roman Catholic Church.