On November 18, Lebanon Prime Minister Saad Hariri arrived to the French capital, Paris, where he met with French President Emmanuel Macron. Previously the French presidency announced that France will host Hariri as the Prime Minister of Lebanon, although that Hariri resigned from position from Saudi Arabia on November 4.
After the meeting, Hariri said that he will clarify his position when he returns to Beirut and meets with Lebanon’s President Michel Aoun next week.
“With regard to the political situation in Lebanon, I will go to Beirut in the coming days, I will participate in the independence celebrations [on November 22], and it is there that I will make known my position on these subjects after meeting President Aoun,” Hariri said according to Reuters agency.
A senior French diplomat told Reuters that France believes the Hariri return to Lebanon is important. The official added that France is trying to de-escalate the situation in the region currently.
“Lebanon is being shaken so it’s important Hariri comes to Paris for us to work with him on the best way out of the crisis … We’re trying to create the conditions for a de-escalation in the region. We want to avoid a proliferation of crises that could get out of control,” the French diplomat told Reuters.
The fact that France hosted Hariri as the Prime Minister of Lebanon could mean that France believed that he was forced to resign by Saudi Arabia. Lately the tension between Lebanese Hezbollah and Saudi Arabia increased, epically after the Saudi government accused Hezbollah of supporting the Houthis in Yemen. The resignation of Hariri was seen as a Saudi response to Hezbollah.
The Kuwaiti newspaper al-Raqi reported on November 18, that Hezbollah forces have been brought to the highest combat-readiness level for the next 48 hours amid the growing tensions in the region. Another example of the increased tension in the region as a whole.