Saad al-Hariri

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After 2 Mysterious Weeks, Lebanese PM Now in France

Saad Hariri says it's a 'lie' he was being held captive in Saudi Arabia

(Newser) - The (potentially) former prime minister of Lebanon's mysterious two-week stay in Saudi Arabia has come to an end, as Saad Hariri arrived in France on Saturday morning and met with French President Emmanuel Macron, the New York Times reports. Hariri was in Saudi Arabia on Nov. 4 when he... More »

Lebanon President: Saudis Are Holding Our PM Hostage

It's Michel Aoun's strongest statement since Saad al-Hariri resigned

(Newser) - Lebanon President Michel Aoun said Wednesday that Saudi Arabia is holding Lebanese Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri and his family hostage. It's the first time since al-Hariri's sudden resignation earlier this month that Aoun has explicitly accused Saudi Arabia of holding him, Reuters reports. Al-Hariri resigned during a trip... More »

Lebanon's Prime Minister: 'I Am Free'

Saad Hariri says he will return to Lebanon 'in days'

(Newser) - Lebanon's Prime Minister Saad Hariri said his resignation was his decision, dismissing reports he was forced to quit a unity government with his rival Hezbollah militant group. Speaking from Saudi Arabia Sunday in a live interview to his station Future TV, Hariri held back tears. "I am free,... More »

Lebanon's Prime Minister Is Missing; Some Fear War Nears

Saad Hariri resigned suddenly while in Saudi Arabia last week, has yet to return to Lebanon

(Newser) - In the week since he suddenly and unexpectedly resigned as Lebanon's prime minister during a trip to Saudi Arabia, Saad Hariri has yet to return to his country—or make any sort of public statement at all, Reuters reports. According to the New York Times , on Friday Hezbollah, which... More »

Protests Erupt as Hezbollah Picks Lebanese PM

Najib MIqati to form new government

(Newser) - Hezbollah's chosen candidate has won enough support to be appointed as Lebanon's new prime minister, sparking angry protests across the country and warnings of chaos to come. The government Najib Miqati forms may end up strongly resembling previous governments, but the symbolism of Hezbollah, once a shadowy militant group, picking... More »

US Pledges Support as Lebanon Government Fails

Hezbollah pulls out ahead of expected indictments in assassination

(Newser) - President Obama and Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri today declared their commitment to strengthening Lebanon's independence even as Hezbollah ministers forced the year-old unity government to collapse. Hariri cut today's White House visit short amid his nation's political crisis and immediately left for France to consult with Nicolas Sarkozy before... More »

Hezbollah Threatens to Break Lebanese Government

Tribunal's upcoming indictments in Hariri assassination spark turmoil

(Newser) - Hezbollah is threatening to withdraw from Lebanon’s uneasy unity government, collapsing it and plunging the country into its worst political crisis since 2008. A government official tells the New York Times that 11 of the country’s 30 cabinet members will resign today, complaining that the cabinet hasn’t... More »

Pro-West Bloc Claims Victory in Lebanon

(Newser) - Lebanon's pro-Western coalition claimed victory a parliamentary election today, striking a blow against Iran and Syria, Reuters reports. "Congratulations to democracy, congratulations to freedom," coalition leader Saad al-Hariri said in a speech in Beirut. Official results are due tomorrow, but the Hezbollah led-bloc is already admitting defeat. "... More »

Divisive Camps Square Off in Lebanon Vote

One pushes liberal economy, the other Islamic militancy

(Newser) - Hezbollah is inching towards greater control in Lebanon as the nation gears up for June’s parliamentary elections. The Shiite group, which favors spurning the West and resisting Israel with arms, is in a minority coalition, but winning a handful of seats could change that, GlobalPost reports. Its opposition, led... More »

Lebanon Pays High Price to Avert Civil War

Deal achieves short-term peace, but strengthens Hezbollah

(Newser) - The agreement that ended Lebanon's 18-month political crisis is nothing less than a sea change for the country, writes the Washington Post, strengthening Hezbollah and dealing a blow to America and its Middle East allies. The US-backed government in Beirut said that the last-minute deal averted a civil war, but... More »

Hezbollah Pulling Gunmen From Beirut

Political group wins concessions from neutral Lebanese army

(Newser) - Hezbollah began withdrawing gunmen today from Beirut after winning concessions from the Lebanese army to overturn the government measures that sparked days of fierce fighting. The army, a neutral player in the ongoing struggle between the insurgent political group and the Western-backed government, said it would reinstate Beirut airport’s... More »

Hezbollah Seizes Muslim Beirut

Major blow to US-backed government

(Newser) - Hezbollah militants have taken control of Muslim areas of Beirut and now control all the roads to the Lebanese capital's airport, Reuters reports. Gunmen forced a pro-government TV station off the air. At least 11 people have been killed, including those trying to flee the city, as sectarian violence continued... More »

Hezbollah Chief: Beirut 'War Has Started'

Open violence rattles streets a second day

(Newser) - What began as a strike yesterday is now “open war” in Lebanon, according to Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah, CNN reports. Open violence continued for a second day today, with loyalists and opposition fighters clashing after the US-backed government tried to muscle through measures against Hezbollah on Monday, including a... More »

Lebanon MPs Deadlock, But Deal Looms

After last week's killing, possible presidential compromise awaits

(Newser) - As expected, the Lebanese parliament deadlocked today as it tried to select a successor to outgoing president Émile Lahoud. But after last week's assassination of an anti-Syrian MP, this week brought promising signs of a compromise between the ruling party and more pro-Syrian opposition groups, including Hezbollah. Another vote... More »

Lebanese Hopes Pinned to Reluctant Billionaire

Can a $2.3B fortune keep Saad Hariri alive long enough to become PM?

(Newser) - Portfolio profiles Saad Hariri, the billionaire who now leads Lebanon's pro-Western majority party and America's last, best Middle Eastern hope. Hariri, pulled into politics when his former-PM father was assassinated in 2005, spends most of his days barricaded inside his Beirut mansion, trying to avoid being murdered by Hezbollah guerrillas. More »

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