Lebanon's Hariri leaves Saudi Arabia for France on Friday

Saudi Arabia's Foreign Minister Adel Jubeir told Reuters last week the kingdom's actions in the Middle East were only a response to what he called the "aggression" of Iran.

Earlier today Hariri said he was on his way to the Riyadh airport, a day after he was invited to come to France.

Hariri stepped down from his post on Nov 4 in a televised address from Riyadh, sparking fears Lebanon would be caught up in the spiralling tensions between Riyadh and Teheran.

Lebanese foreign minister Gebran Bassil will not be attending the emergency Arab League meeting on Sunday to discuss Iran's interference in the affairs of Arab countries.

Yemen's civil war pits the internationally recognized government, backed by Saudi Arabia and its allies, against the Houthis and forces loyal to former president Ali Abdullah Saleh.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke on the phone on Sunday with French President Emmanuel Macron, who briefed him on his recent round of talks regarding the political crisis in Lebanon.

Hariri said he went to Saudi Arabia to consult with officials there on the future of Lebanon and its relations with its Arab neighbours.

French President Emmanuel Macron and his wife Brigitte Macron welcome Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri, his wife Lara Bachir El Alzm and their son Houssam

Sunni Muslim powerhouse Saudi Arabia and Iran, the predominant Shi'ite power, are long-standing rivals based as much in geostrategic interests as religious differences.

Hariri has been in the Saudi capital for two weeks after his unexpected resignation announcement. Perhaps Hariri will provide more details about the threats he faces to his life - presumably at the hands of a militant group.

France has however sought to maintain a nuanced position in the region.

The official with the French presidency said France is not worried that Hariri left two of his children in Saudi Arabia.

Macron talked with U.S. President Donald Trump on telephone and they discussed the Middle East on Saturday.

"We have adopted self-restraint so far to arrive at this result so that we don't head towards diplomatic escalation and the other measures available to us", he said during a European tour aimed at building pressure for a solution to the crisis.

Le Drian raised concern over Iran's role in the region.


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