Hariri returns to Lebanon

Hariri and Salam. (AFP/Anwar Amro)
Future Movement leader MP Saad Hariri alongside Premier Tammam Salam.

BEIRUT – Future Movement leader MP Saad Hariri made a surprise return to Lebanon on Friday, over three years after he left the country for security reasons following the toppling of his national-unity cabinet by March 8 parties.


The former premier arrived in Beirut from Saudi Arabia’s Jeddah, where days before he gave a press conference touting the new $1 billion grant from Riyadh to Lebanon’s army to fight Islamists.


"My return comes after the Saudi grant to Lebanon, which we will discuss how to implement," Hariri told reporters after his arrival. 


The March 14 leader had announced Wednesday that he would launch contacts with Premier Tammam Salam and security officials regarding the Saudi grant to discuss ways to “meet the needs of security forces and providing them with requirements to fight terrorism.”


Upon his arrival in Lebanon’s capital, Hariri traveled to his father’s tomb in Downtown Beirut, after which he headed to the Grand Serail, where he met with Salam.


During their hour-long meeting, the two leaders discussed the latest security developments in Arsal, where Syrian militants launched a four day-assault that left at least 15 Lebanese soldiers dead before withdrawing with hostages on Thursday, Lebanon’s state National News Agency reported.


Hariri, who is acting as the pointman regarding the Saudi military grant, agreed with Salam to complete discussions of executive procedures regarding the aid within the necessary legal framework.


Meanwhile, Future Movement Secretary General Ahmad Hariri told NOW that his party leader had returned to Lebanon because he believes the protection of the country from the dangers of Islamic extremism is more important than his own personal safety.


“Saad Hariri believes that the Lebanese must confront the dangers [facing] Lebanon with moderation and by securing coexistence,” Ahmad Hariri told NOW on Friday.


He added that the surprise appearance is the result of “a total conviction that Lebanon must be protected from terrorism and that moderate [Islam] must be secured despite the difficult security situation.”


“His national conviction necessitates that he be present among the Lebanese because his life is not worth more than all Lebanese especially in these difficult circumstances.”

Future Movement leader MP Saad Hariri (C) stands next to Premier Tammam Salam. (AFP/Anwar Amro)

My return comes after the Saudi grant to Lebanon, which we will discuss how to implement.

  • mcmadal


    August 8, 2014