EU foreign affairs chief Frederica Mogherini expects that Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri, who announced his resignation on Saudi Arabian television, will soon return with his family back to Lebanon, the European External Action Service (EEAS) said in a press release on Tuesday.
BRUSSELS (Sputnik) — According to the EEAS press release, Mogherini held a meeting with Lebanese Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil to discuss the current situation in the country caused by Hariri’s unexpected resignation. During the meeting the sides agreed to maintain contacts in order to follow the developments.
“Close contacts will continue also with Prime Minister Hariri, through the EU’s diplomatic channels – High Representative/Vice-President Mogherini expects him and his family to return to Lebanon in the coming days,” the press release read.
The EU foreign policy chief also assured Bassil that the European Union would continue to support Lebanon in its efforts to preserve stability, unity and integrity of the country.
“High Representative/Vice-President Mogherini and Minister Bassil agreed there should not be any external interference in the country, and that regional dynamics and tensions should not affect the country’s national agenda, that has to stay focused on Lebanon and the Lebanese citizens,” the press release read.
Hariri announced his resignation in a video address from Riyadh on November 4, expressing fear that he could be assassinated, like his father, in Lebanon, as well as accusing Tehran and the Iran-backed Hezbollah movement of attempts to destabilize the situation in Lebanon as well as across the Middle East.
On Friday, Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah accused Saudi Arabia of “forced retention” of Hariri in the country, as well as persuading the politician to resign, which he called unacceptable interference in Lebanon’s internal affairs. On Saturday, Lebanese President Michel Aoun urged Saudi Arabia to clarify the reasons preventing Hariri from leaving the kingdom and returning to his home country to explain the reasons behind his resignation in person.