President Michel Aoun Saturday said that the “ambiguous and mysterious” circumstances surrounding Prime Minister Saad Hariri’s resignation meant that all the decisions and steps taken by him cannot reflect reality.
Any stance or move by Hariri “is the result of the dubious and mysterious situation that he is living in the kingdom,” Aoun said in a statement from his office.
The comments came after Aoun called on Saudi Arabia to clarify the reasons why Hariri has not yet returned to Lebanon following his resignation announcement, made in a televised statement from the Saudi Arabian capital last Saturday.
Tensions have heightened between Lebanon and Saudi Arabia in the wake of Hariri’s exit and the delay in his return to Lebanon, which has thrown the country into a state of uncertainty.
Aoun has since been convening high-level meetings with Lebanese politicians and foreign diplomats. Reuters reported Saturday that, according to a senior Lebanese official, Aoun told foreign ambassadors that Hariri has been “kidnapped” and must have immunity.
According to a prior statement from Baabda, Aoun said Lebanon does not accept its prime minister being in a position that is at odds with international treaties.
He had said Friday in a meeting with the International Support Group for Lebanon that he had concerns regarding Hariri’s situation and that he would await the prime minister’s return in order to find out the reasons behind his resignation.
He reminded the group of “international agreements that foster relations between states and the immunity that they provide to their agents.”