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Lebanon: Hariri to travel to Paris from Riyadh in coming days /update 2

Prime Minister Hariri reportedly delays return to Beirut after invitation to Paris by French President Emmanuel Macron

16 Nov 03:02 AM UTC
TIMEFRAME expected from 11/14/2017, 12:00 AM until 11/17/2017, 11:59 PM (Asia/Beirut). COUNTRY/REGION Lebanon

Event

According to a statement released by the French government on Wednesday, November 15, French President Emmanuel Macron has invited Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri and his family to travel to Paris from Riyadh, Saudi Arabia (where Hariri announced his surprise resignation earlier this month), in the coming days. Hariri had originally announced a plan to return to Beirut, however the timeline for his eventual return is now in question.

When Hariri does return to Lebanon, it is unclear whether he will officially submit his resignation in person, or will rescind the resignation announcement made on November 4. Rallies in support of Hariri are possible upon his return, most likely in Beirut. An increased security presence as well as localized transportation disruptions are likely during any such event.

Context

While on a visit to Saudi Arabia on November 4, Hariri unexpectedly announced his resignation. The circumstances surrounding the resignation were unclear, however conflicting reports said the move was due to Saudi pressure and alleged assassination plots. In addition, Saudi Arabia threatened to consider Lebanon a hostile state for as long as Iran-linked militia Hezbollah remains in power. Saudi Arabia and Prime Minister Hariri have denied any Saudi involvement in his decision to resign.

Advice

Individuals should anticipate an increased security presence as well as localized transportation disruptions in the area of any public gathering.

More generally, due to the threat of terrorism, some Western governments advise their nationals against travel to the city of Tripoli, Beirut's southern districts, the extreme south, and the country's eastern and northern border regions (including Baalbek, Hermel, Majdel, and Rachaiya).

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