Claims by Hezbollah movement leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah that Saudi Arabia forced the resignation Lebanese Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri and detained him in Riyadh seems to hold water anyway.
Nasrallah’s claims have been validated after sources close to Hariri revealed that the former leader was asked to resign because he was unwilling to confront Hezbollah even as Riyadh now plans to replace Hariri with his older brother Bahaa as Lebanon’s top Sunni politician.
“When Hariri’s plane landed in Riyadh, he got the message immediately that something was wrong,” a Hariri source told Reuters news agency. “There was no one waiting for him.”
According to reports, Hariri was in for a surprise the moment his plane touched down in Saudi Arabia on Friday, November 3, as there was no line-up of Saudi princes or ministry officials, as would typically greet a prime minister, his phone confiscated, and the next day, was forced to resign as prime minister of Lebanon.
Hezbollah leader, Nasrallah said last week that the move by Saudi had declared war on Lebanon and his Iran-backed group. He also revealed that Saudi is holding Hariri against his will, saying it wished for him to have “all his freedom of movement and be fully able to play the essential role that is his in Lebanon”.
Nasrallah added that Hariri, a long-time Saudi ally insulted his compatriots when he declared his resignation while in Riyadh last Saturday, and he must return to Lebanon.
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