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Friday, 06 December 2019

Lebanon FM says Hariri crisis part of attempt to create regional chaos

Reuters , Friday 17 Nov 2017
Lebanon FM
Lebanese Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil speaks during a meeting with Italian counterpart Angelino Alfano in Rome, Italy, November 15, 2017 (Photo: Reuters)
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Lebanon's Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil said on Friday a crisis triggered by the resignation of its prime minister was part of an "attempt to create chaos in the region", local television stations reported.

Saad al-Hariri quit as prime minister in a broadcast from Saudi Arabia two weeks ago, saying he feared assassination and criticising the Saudis' regional arch-rival Iran along with its Lebanese ally Hezbollah.

Hariri has yet to return to Beirut and is expected to leave Saudi Arabia this weekend for France, where he will meet with President Emmanuel Macron.

Bassil is touring European and other capitals seeking diplomatic help to end the crisis.

"We will respond and we have the full capacities to do so, but we hope it doesn't get to that," Bassil was quoted as saying from Moscow by Lebanese broadcasters al-Jadeed, al-Manar and LBC.

French officials said they did not know how long Hariri would stay before returning to Beirut, but hoped his visit would help ease the crisis by demonstrating he was not being held in Saudi Arabia.

*This story is edited by Ahram Online

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