Saudi Arabia rejects Macron comment over Lebanon’s Hariri ‘detention’

Saudi Arabia has rejected French President Emmanuel Macron’s comment that Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri had been held against his will in the kingdom, AFP said. Hariri announced on November 4 that he was stepping down in a televised address from Riyadh, only to rescind the statement the following month after Macron’s intervention. In an interview broadcast on Friday by BFMTV, Macron described how he waded into the crisis. “Lebanon has since emerged from a serious crisis where, as I recall, a prime minister was held in Saudi Arabia for several weeks,” Macron said. On Tuesday, a Saudi Foreign Ministry spokesman denied that Hariri was held against his will. “What the French president said… that the kingdom had held Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri is incorrect,” the Saudi Press Agency quoted him as saying. “The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia was and still supports the stability and security of Lebanon and Prime Minister Hariri,” he added.