European Union says Hariri must return to Lebanon, warns against Saudi interference


Although he met with various ambassadors in the Saudi capital of Riyadh in the days that followed, no one in Lebanon was really sure what was happening to him.

El-Rai heads the Maronite sect, Lebanon's largest Christian community and the Middle East's largest Catholic church, which enjoys wide influence in the country.

El-Rai and Saudi Charge d'Affaires Walid al-Bukhari said the kingdom is not likely to deport Lebanese citizens as punishment for the participation of the militant Hezbollah group in Lebanese politics.

At the end of the November 6-10 session of the Catholic Council of the Patriarchs and Bishops of Lebanon, the prelates said their pain "is the continuation of wars in the countries of the Middle East, particularly in Syria, Iraq, Palestine and Yemen, which have shaken the stability and peace and caused the programmed demolition and the ravages and misfortunes of innocent citizens".

European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini on Monday said the European Union expects no external interference in Lebanon's internal affairs.

French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said France was "worried by the situation in Lebanon" and wanted to see the government there "stabilise as quickly as possible". "But for there to be a political solution in Lebanon every political official must have total freedom in their movements". On Sunday, another TV appearance by Hariri was filled with freakish moments.

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At one point during the interview, Hariri's eyes were wide open, moving to the back of the room. He repeatedly drank water, finishing his glass and asking for more, prompting Yacoubian to hand him her own glass of water. "You made me exhausted", he said.

RUTH SHERLOCK, BYLINE: On camera, Saad Al-Hariri looks nervous and drained. When asked about reports that he is not communicative and doesn't use his phone much, he said: "I am in a reflective state", adding that he didn't want any distractions amid a very busy schedule.

The Institute of International Finance also warned Hariri's resignation may plunge Lebanon into another protracted political stalemate that could weigh on the economy.

SAAD AL-HARIRI: (Foreign language spoken). Stories leaked that Hariri had been presented with a resignation script upon arriving in Saudi Arabia and forced to read it.

It will be the first time a cardinal officially visits Saudi Arabia and the first visit of an Eastern patriarch to the kingdom since Greek Orthodox Patriarch Elias IV of Antioch in 1975. "He is always welcome there and he will continue to be welcome there".