Lebanon’s Hariri Meets With Macron in Paris After Saudi ‘Hostage’ Fears

Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri on Saturday met with French President Emmanuel Macron in Paris, his first appearance outside Saudi Arabia since his resignation announcement threw Lebanon into crisis. Hariri reportedly arrived at Macron's invitation as the French president seeks to prevent turmoil in the ongoing political crisis. In a Nov. 4 speech from Riyadh, Hariri lashed out at Iran and announced he would resign as prime minister over assassination fears. The bombshell announcement triggered concerns over instability in the region, with some suspecting Hariri was being held in Saudi Arabia against his will. Hariri has denied that Saudi Arabia influenced his decision, however. “With regard to the political situation in Lebanon, I will go to Beirut in the coming days, I will participate in the independence celebrations, and it is there that I will make known my position on these subjects after meeting President (Michel) Aoun,” Hariri said in a statement Saturday. He is expected to return to Beirut by Wednesday.