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Hariri: Saudi Arabia does not and did not intervene in the formation of Lebanese government

Image of Lebanon's Prime Minister Saad Al-Hariri on 20 December 2016 in Beirut, Lebanon [Ratib Al Safadi/Anadolu Agency]
Lebanon's Prime Minister Saad Al-Hariri [Ratib Al Safadi/Anadolu Agency]

Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri said, Tuesday, that Saudi Arabia does not and did not intervene in the formation of the government. Rather, it is a purely Lebanese internal affair.

In a statement issued by his press office on Tuesday, Hariri said that "the most important thing that Saudi Arabia wishes for is the formation of the government as soon as possible to contribute to supporting Lebanon, its state and economy, as was evident from its position during the Cedar Conference," which had been held in April.

The statement explained that Hariri's recent visit to France was a family trip and did not make contacts or hold meetings with any officials abroad.

Read: Germany donates 97 homes, shops for Palestinian refugees in Lebanon

The statement added: "In any case, Hariri's relationship with the Saudi leadership in general and His Highness the Crown Prince (Mohammad bin Salman) in particular is an excellent and direct brotherly relationship that does not require mediation from anyone.

The statement said:

Hariri's efforts to bridge the gaps between the various parties are aimed at forming a government of national consensus. This outcome would be politically balanced and able to carry out the tasks and responsibilities that all the Lebanese people expect.

Based on sources described as "high-level sources", some newspapers that have been issued on Tuesday reported that Hariri's recent visit to Paris was aimed at asking French President Emmanuel Macron to intervene with Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman to facilitate the formation of the Lebanese government.

The newspapers mentioned that the French advised Hariri that he should not wait for the US permission and contact the Russian goverment quickly to accelerate the formation of the new government.

In May, Lebanese President Michel Aoun was appointed to form the new government after the parliamentary elections.

Last Tuesday, Hariri said that "the problems facing the formation of the government in the country are fabricated by everyone who wants to put obstacles against its formation," without further details.

The delay in announcing the formation of the government is due to the demands of various Lebanese political forces for greater representation within the new government.

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