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Elysee: Macron invites Hariri and family to France

Published: Updated:

President Emmanuel Macron has invited Lebanon's Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri and his family to France, the French presidency said on Wednesday, seeking to defuse a brewing crisis in the Middle East.

Hariri announced his abrupt resignation as premier 11 days ago from the Saudi capital Riyadh, propelling Lebanon to the front of a regional contest for power between Saudi Arabia and Iran.

"After speaking with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and the Lebanese Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri the president has invited Saad al-Hariri and his family to France," the Elysee said in a statement.

A source in the Elysee palace said Hariri was expected to arrive in Paris with his family in the coming days.

France's foreign minister, Jean-Yves Le Drian, was due in Riyadh on Wednesday evening.

The Elysee palace statement referred to Hariri as Lebanon's prime minister and gave no explicit reason for Macron's invitation.