Elysee: Macron invites Hariri and family to France

Former Lebanese Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri leaves after a meeting at the Elysee Palace in Paris October 7, 2014. (Reuters)

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.

Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:55 - GMT 06:55