Keyword: Lebanon

Macron says France helped avoid war in Lebanon

French president took credit for solving political crisis in Lebanon last year and stated that Saudi Arabia had held PM Saad al-Hariri for weeks. 

The Riyadh riddle and the woes of the Hariri business empire

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A friend in need: Saad Hariri with French President Emmanuel Macron at the Elsée Palace on November 18th. © Reuters A friend in need: Saad Hariri with French President Emmanuel Macron at the Elsée Palace on November 18th. © Reuters

A degree of mystery continues to surround what appears to have been a forced sojourn of Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri in Saudi Arabia last month, to the backdrop of heightened tensions in the Middle East centred on the Saudi kingdom’s rivalry with Iran. French President Emmanuel Macron played what Hariri has called a “historic” role that secured his departure from Riyadh, but the financial difficulties of the Lebanese politician’s extensive business interests may also be part of the complex plot leading up to the November events. Karl Laske reports.

Lebanese PM Hariri to leave Saudi Arabia for France 'very soon'

Lebanese prime minister Saad al-Hariri, whose prolonged stay in Saudi Arabia since announcing his resignation on November 3rd was described as a hostage-taking by the Lebanese president, is expected to fly to France after intense diplomatic negotiations between Paris and Riyadh.

France calls on Saudis to allow Lebanese PM to 'return home freely'

French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe on Tuesday said Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri must be 'freely' allowed to leave Saudi Arabia, where he has been staying in mysterious circumstances since announcing from there earlier this month that he was stepping down from his post, so that he can 'clarify his situation in accordance with the Lebanese constitution'.

President Macron makes surprise Saudi visit

Unscheduled visit to kingdom came amid growing crisis between it and Lebanon after Lebanese premier Saad Hariri resigned while in Riyadh.

Le Pen cancels meeting with Lebanon's grand mufti over headscarf

French far-right presidential election candidate Marine Le Pen, on a visit to Lebanon where she has met with a number of officials, cancelled her planned meeting with the head of the Lebanese Sunni Muslim authority Dar al-Fatwa, after she refused to wear a headscarf when she arrived for the encounter, despite having been previously notified of the requirement.

French far-right leader Le Pen begins two-day Lebanon visit

Front National part leader and presidential candidate Marine Le Pen began a two-day visit to Lebanon by meeting with Lebanese President Michel Aoun and Prime Minister Saad Hariri on Monday ahead of talks with business and religious leaders.

François Hollande arrives in Lebanon at start of Middle East tour

Arriving in Beirut ahead of visits to Egypt and Jordan, the French president pledged increased financial and military aid for Lebanon, home to 1m Syrian refugees.

Saudi Arabia ends funding of French arms for Lebanon

The Saudi financing ended last month over Shia military group Hezbollah's support of Syrian President Bashar Assad and its actions inside Lebanon.

France sends first of weapons deal to Lebanon for fight against Islamic State

Helicopters, warships, combat and transport vehicles and missiles are part of the Saudi-funded French weapons which start arriving on Monday.

Lebanon refuses entry to French jihadist expert

Romain Caillet, a researcher with the French Institute for the Near East, denies links with terror groups and blames Hezbollah for entry ban.

Saudi crown prince in Paris for talks on Lebanon arms deal

Salman bin Abdul-Aziz and President François Hollande will discuss a Saudi-financed French weapons deal to help counter jihadist threat.

France backs placing Hezbollah military wing on EU terror list

French foreign minister Laurent Fabius, speaking in Jordan, said France would back moves to place Lebanese Shia militant group on terror list.

Air France asks passengers to pay cash for Damascus refuelling stop

Crew of an Air France Paris-Beirut flight re-routed for security reasons to Damascus sought cash from passengers for refuelling to reach Cyprus.

Roadside bomb wounds 5 French peacekeepers in south Lebanon

A roadside bomb struck a vehicle carrying UN peacekeepers in southern Lebanon on Friday, wounding five French soldiers and a Lebanese bystander.