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Lebanon Fears Its Former Prime Minister May Be Trapped In Saudi Arabia

Almost a week after his surprise resignation, Lebanon's former prime minister still hasn't returned from Saudi Arabia.
Posted at 6:07 PM, Nov 12, 2017

Almost a week after his resignation, former Lebanese Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri still hasn't returned to his home country. Now Lebanese officials say their former leader may be a political hostage for the Saudis.

Hariri first announced his resignation on Saudi-owned TV channel Al Arabiya during a visit to Saudi Arabia. He claimed he was worried about being assassinated, blaming Iranian influence in Lebanon.

Hariri hasn't spoken publicly since the statement and hasn't returned to Lebanon. That's led to accusations Saudi Arabia coerced Hariri's resignation.

Lebanon has recently become a flashpoint in the power struggle between Iran and Saudi Arabia. The Washington Post reports the Saudis may be trying to replace Hariri with his more hard-line brother.

The leader of Hezbollah, which is part of a coalition government with Hariri's party, deemed his resignation "blunt unprecedented interference" from Saudi Arabia and claimed it constituted an act of war.

Correction: A previous version of this video incorrectly said Al Arabiya is Saudi-based. The channel is Saudi-owned and based out of Dubai.