French president invites Lebanese PM to France

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The president said that the country is safe economically, financially and regarding security.

Political unrest in Lebanon has political analysts fearing the possibility of war erupting in the area due to escalating tensions between Saudi Arabia, Iran and, now, Lebanon.

The French presidency said Hariri and his family had been "invited" to France after President Emmanuel Macron spoke by telephone with both Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Salman and the Lebanese prime minister. However, disputes about nuclear weapons and Saudi Arabia's execution of Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr, a Shiite cleric who was involved in protests surrounding Arab Spring, caused Saudi Arabia and Iran to sever diplomatic ties again in 2016.

"Nothing justifies the failure of Prime Minister Saad Hariri to return for 12 days, therefore we consider him to be held and detained, contrary to the Vienna Convention", Aoun tweeted.

Current unrest in the region started on November 4, when the prime minister of Lebanon, Saad Hariri, announced his resignation by reading a statement on live television. He is due to hold talks with Hariri on Thursday.

GETTYMr Macron also spoke with Mohammed bin Salman
GETTYMr Macron also spoke with Mohammed bin Salman

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani meanwhile ratcheted up the rhetoric against Saudi Arabia, his country's main regional rival, saying the kingdom pressured Hariri to resign in a "rare" intervention in another nation's affairs.

Israel has stressed that it does not seek war with Hezbollah in Lebanon, but has launched multiple airstrikes to prevent advanced weaponry from reaching the Iran-inspired group, the most powerful military force in Lebanon. "I'm talking about information that Saudi Arabia has asked Israel to strike Lebanon". Hezbollah has said Saudi Arabia forced Hariri to resign in order to bring down his coalition government, which includes the group.

Shortly after Aoun's statement, Hariri also took to Twitter in an apparent bid to quell rumours of his detention.

France's foreign minister is expected in Saudi Arabia on Wednesday to meet with Hariri and Saudi officials. "You'll see", he wrote. Riyadh is expected to discuss Iran's rising influence in the region, as well as the Lebanon crisis.

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