“A message was received from outside Lebanon that showed a number of influential people in the US administration wanted to hit a blow to Lebanon, but Saad Hariri voiced clear opposition to it and his opposition has cost him the present situation that has been enforced since last Saturday,” John Aziz told al-Mayadeen news channel on Monday night.
He added that the Lebanese’ unity and firm position in support of Hariri changed the Americans’ stances and forced them to withdraw from their plots.
Aoun said on Saturday Hariri, who announced his resignation in a broadcast from Saudi Arabia, has been “kidnapped” and must have immunity.
Aoun made the remarks in a meeting with foreign ambassadors in the capital Beirut, a senior unnamed Lebanese official said on Saturday.
Meanwhile, in a statement released by Aoun’s office on Saturday, the Lebanese president expressed concern over Hariri’s situation and said the premier was living in a “dubious” situation in Saudi Arabia. He added that anything Hariri has said or may say “does not reflect reality” due to the mystery of his situation.
Any stance or move by Hariri “is the result of the dubious and mysterious situation that he is living in the kingdom,” Aoun added.
Aoun further called on Riyadh to clarify why Hariri hasn’t returned home since announcing his resignation in the kingdom last week.
“Lebanon does not accept its prime minister being in a situation at odds with international treaties and the standard rules in relations between states,” he said.
He added that a marathon planned in Beirut on Sunday in which tens of thousands are expected to participate should be “a national sports demonstration for solidarity with Prime Minister Hariri and his return to his country.”
Meanwhile, the Arabic-language al-Joumhouria (The Republic) daily newspaper quoted Aoun as saying on Saturday that Beirut would refer Hariri’s case to the UN Security Council within a week if his destiny remains unclear.
Hariri announced his resignation on November 4, citing several reasons, including the security situation in Lebanon, for his sudden decision. He also said that he realized a plot being hatched against his life.
Hariri also accused Iran and the Lebanese resistance movement, Hezbollah, of meddling in the Arab countries’ affairs; an allegation the two have rejected.
The Lebanese prime minister announced his resignation following visits to Saudi Arabia.
The resignation also comes less than a month after he announced plans to join a coalition government with Hezbollah.
Many authorities in Lebanon have insisted on the return of Hariri from Saudi Arabia. Several sources believe that Saudi Arabia is holding Hariri against his will, a claim the kingdom has rejected.
Source/Fars News Agency