Saad Hariri returns to Lebanon after shock resignation

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Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri is visiting Cairo to hold a meeting with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi to address the crisis in his country after his sudden resignation, according to official sources.

"As you know I have resigned and we will talk about this matter in Lebanon", Hariri said. Hariri later said he would return to Lebanon in time for Wednesday's Independence Day celebrations.

The prime minister's shock resignation announcement on November 4 set off speculation that he had been forced to step down by the Gulf kingdom and was being held there against his will. In a video message, he decried Iran's influence in Lebanon and hinted at an assassination plot against him. Political power in Lebanon is divided among Christian, Shiite, and Sunni factions, with Sunni-dominated Saudi Arabia and Shiite Tehran backing different groups.

Hariri is now in Paris, where he met French President Emmanuel Macron on Saturday.

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Simmons' attorney provided two anonymous statements claiming that Khalighi didn't show signs of distress that weekend. She said she jerked away, then he left. "I remember this very, very clearly, the exact words he said on the phone".

Hariri stopped off late yesterday in Cyprus on his way back to his home country.

He went immediately to the presidential palace, it said.

But despite the moves, dubbed as nothing more than a hollow "PR stunt" by analysts and campaigners, including Saudi Madawi al-Rasheed, MbS has failed to shake off criticism for spearheading a Saudi war on Yemen's Houthis that has left more than 10,000 dead.

Macron had leveraged France's close relations with both Lebanon and Saudi Arabia to secure a deal that saw Hariri travel to Paris and open the door to a resolution of the crisis.