Published:  12:09 AM, 14 November 2017

France calls for non-interference in Lebanon crisis


French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian called Monday for non-interference in Lebanon, after the country's prime minister announced his surprise resignation in a televised statement from Saudi Arabia.

For there to be a political solution in Lebanon, it is necessary that all of the political leaders have total freedom of movement and that non-interference is a fundamental principle, Le Drian said as he arrived for a meeting of EU foreign ministers in Brussels.

Saad Hariri sent shock waves through Lebanon when he unexpectedly quit as prime minister a week ago, but on Sunday rejected rumors he was under de facto house arrest in Riyadh, insisting he was free and would return home soon.

His resignation came as tensions rise between Riyadh and Tehran, which back opposing sides in power struggles from Lebanon and Syria to Yemen.

Le Drian said France was worried by the situation in Lebanon and wanted to see the government there stabilize as quickly as possible.

Other Western countries have moved to express their support for Hariri, with US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson calling him a strong partner. Tillerson warned against any party, within or outside Lebanon.

-AFP, Brussels

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