Thursday 24 May 2018

Lebanon's outgoing prime minister meets Saudi king amid 'resignation' confusion

Saudi King Salman, right, shakes hands with outgoing Lebanese prime minister Saad Hariri (AP)
Saudi King Salman, right, shakes hands with outgoing Lebanese prime minister Saad Hariri (AP)

Saudi Arabia's King Salman has met with Lebanon's outgoing prime minister who abruptly resigned during the trip to the kingdom.

The Saudi-owned Al-Arabiya TV has said the king received Saad Hariri on Monday.

Mr Hariri's resignation in a televised statement from Saudi Arabia on Saturday has stunned Lebanon and plunged tiny nation into uncertainty.

In his resignation, Mr Hariri accused Shiite power Iran of meddling in Arab affairs and the Iran-backed Lebanese militant Hezbollah group of holding Lebanon hostage.

The resignation threw Lebanon's fragile government into disarray.

President Michel Aoun said he would not consider the resignation until it is delivered to him in person.

It was uncertain when Mr Hariri will return to Lebanon.

Hezbollah's leader Hassan Nasrallah speculated on Sunday that Saudi Arabia had forced Mr Hariri to resign amid the deepening Saudi-Iran rivalry.

AP

Press Association

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