Saad Hariri Returns to Lebanon

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Saad Hariri has been missing for weeks after he suddenly resigned as the Prime Minister of Lebanon while on an official trip to Saudi Arabia. The mystery surrounding his decision and whereabouts came to an end on Tuesday when he returned to his native Lebanon. There were some speculations in the region that the Prime Minister had been forced to resign by the Saudi Arabian government. However, he is yet to confirm these rumors. He stayed in Saudi Arabia for two weeks. The New York Times learned that the former prime minister arrived in his native land shortly before midnight. He landed at the Beirut airport, which is known as Rafik Hariri Airport. For starters, the airport was named after his father after he was killed in 2005 in what was later described as an assassination. He was the prime minister back then. Upon arrival, he went to Martyr’s Square that is located in Beirut downtown and prayed at the tomb of his father. He refused to talk to the media or the public. He only thanked the Lebanese people for the support that they had shown him. Michael Aoun is the president of Lebanon. He said that the resignation offered by the prime minister is not valid.

For a resignation to take effect in the country, it must be offered in person. Therefore, it remains unclear whether Saad Hariri will reaffirm the resignation or whether he will rescind it. It’s not clear how much he was pressured by Saudi Arabia to offer the resignation. While in Saudi Arabia, he said that he feared for his life as there was an assassination plan. It’s not yet clear whether he still believes that his life is in danger. While in Cairo yesterday, he issued a statement saying that he will let the people of Lebanon know where he stands politically. He refused to get into details when questioned by journalists. His resignation came at a crucial time when there are swirling tensions in the region. It was also issued at a time when Saudi Arabia is seeking to stop Iran from influencing the region. His resignation was seen as a surprise by many including his aides as he hadn’t shown any signs of resigning before the day he made the announcement. The resignation was later followed by a series of events that surprised the region. Moments after his resignation, over 200 Saudis were arrested for participating in corruption.