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Saad Hariri returns to Lebanon after shock resignation

Lebanon's Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri arrived in Beirut Tuesday evening after his sudden resignation in a televised statement he read from the Saudi Arabian capital Riyadh on November 4.

Lebanon's President Michel Aoun refused to accept Hariri's resignation as he considered it unconstitutional because it was not presented to him in Lebanon.

According to Al-Akhbar's sources, France insists that PM Hariri remains in office, expressing worries about any governmental vacuum that results from the resignation, "which may lead into a political, security and economic instability".

Hariri's media team announced on his Twitter account that he had flown to Cyprus instead.

Saad Hariri is seen at the grave of his father in Beirut upon his return to Lebanon
Saad Hariri is seen at the grave of his father in Beirut upon his return to Lebanon. ( Reuters

Minutes after Hariri landed in Cairo, small groups of supporters took to the streets of central Beirut in noisy convoys, honking, cheering and waving flags with the colours of the premier's Future Movement. Sisi and Aoun "underscored the importance of preserving Lebanon's stability as well as upholding Lebanon's national interest". It said in its Tuesday edition that French and Egyptian officials discussed Lebanon's future in the Cypriot capital Nicosia on the sidelines of el-Sissi's visit to the European Union member Mediterranean island nation.

Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi together with France's leader, Emmanuel Macron, is reportedly trying to mediate a solution that would involve rolling back Hariri's resignation.

Hariri is still expected to return to Lebanon, more than two weeks after his shock resignation from Saudi Arabia. Lebanese officials suggested that Hariri could have been forcibly held in Saudi Arabia, but he dismissed these allegations.

The Saudi-owned, pan-Arab daily Asharq Al-Awsat alluded to French and Egyptian efforts in a front-page report on Tuesday.

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