Lebanon's former PM to meet Egypt's President al-Sisi

Lebanon's former PM to meet Egypt's President al-Sisi

Saad Hariri on late Tuesday returned to Lebanon amid political crisis after announcing his shock resignation as Lebanon's prime minister from Saudi Arabia.

Hariri left Paris this morning and visited Egypt where he held talks with President Abdel Fatah Sissi, then visited Cyprus in an unexpected visit and held talks with Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades.

Hariri arrived at Cairo Cairo International Airport at 6:30 pm (local time), where he was greeted by Egyptian Health Minister Ahmed Emad Edin, Lebanon Ambassador in Cairo, Antoine Azzam, and Egypt Beirut Ambassador Nazih Naggari.

Lebanese President Michel Aoun has not recognized the resignation of Hariri, echoing Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah's concerns that the statement could have been made under pressure by the Saudi authorities.

"We, and he, desire to see stability in Lebanon".

$1trn Norway wealth fund wants to drop oil and gas stocks
The fund said it doesn't expect returns or market risk to be affected "appreciably" by excluding oil and gas stocks. Oil and gas companies now make up around 6% of the fund's benchmark equity index.

In Lebanon, the army chief called on troops to stand firm against any attempt to incite strife in the country amid the crisis triggered by Hariri's resignation.

Policies by the young Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman risk destabilising the region, Straw said at a conference on Saudi Arabia hosted by Middle East Monitor on Saturday.

Hariri, a Sunni Muslim, is a long-time ally of Saudi Arabia. It said in its Tuesday edition that French and Egyptian officials discussed Lebanon's future in the Cypriot capital Nicosia on the sidelines of el-Sissi's visit to the European Union member Mediterranean island nation. Aoun, a Christian, is a political ally of Hezbollah.

After its 1979 Islamic Revolution, Iran emerged as patron of Lebanon's Shiites, embracing Hezbollah and nurturing it until it became the single strongest political and military group in today's Lebanon.

Many officials in Lebanon, however, claimed that Hariri's close allies in Saudi Arabia forced him to step down as part of a larger power play against Iran.

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