Saturday, 9 August 2014

Hariri returns to Lebanon (NOT VIA DAMASCUS) wearing his jacket and armed by a billion Saudi petrodollars

After waiting 3 years for return via Damascus


Updated at 2:27 pm (GMT +3) 
Former premier Saad Hariri arrived back in Lebanon Friday after three years and went straight into a meeting with current Prime Minister Tammam Salam, his office said.
With no prior announcement, Hariri arrived at the Lebanese government's headquarters in Beirut and according to local media, Hariri stated that he will stay in Lebanon “for a while.”
Hariri's return comes two days after he announced that Saudi King Abdullah had promised him Riyadh would provide Lebanon's army, battling jihadists on the Syrian border, with one billion dollars "to strengthen security."
"My return comes after the Saudi donation which requires seeing how it can be implemented and translated into support for the army," Hariri said on his Twitter account.
The Twitter account also said Hariri's first stop would be at the grave of his father, Rafik al-Hariri, another former Lebanese prime minister whose assassination in 2005 forced Saad to enter political life.
Hariri has been in self-imposed exile between France and Saudi Arabia since 2011 “out of security fears.” He left the country after his government was toppled by a coalition.
According to Lebanon’s National News Agency (NNA), Hariri received at the "Center House" a number of ministers who congratulated him on his safe return to Beirut.
He also sat down with the US Ambassador to Lebanon David Hale in the presence of Hariri's Chief of Staff Nader Hariri. Ambassador Hale left without giving any statement.
Moreover, Maronite Patriarch, Mar Bechara Boutros Rahi, called former PM Saad Hariri and congratulated him on his safe return, hoping that such return be a forward push to solve a number of pending social and political problems in the country.
Earlier, Hariri received a phone call from Speaker Nabih Berri and Former President Amine Gemayel, who congratulated him on his safe return to Lebanon.
Ersal clashes
Hariri's visit follows a deadly incursion by Islamist militants who crossed from Syria and seized the town of Ersal in the northeast last Saturday. The gunmen withdrew from the town on Wednesday after five days of battles with the army.
Rocket fire, suicide attacks and gun battles connected to Syria's war have plagued Lebanon and the conflict has worsened the perennial political deadlock in the Mediterranean country, with officials divided largely along sectarian lines.
The deadlock has left Lebanon without a president since May, when incumbent Michel Suleiman's term expired.
The coastal city of Tripoli has seen regular skirmishes between militiamen.
River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian   
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