Lebanon: Saad Hariri returns to the country after two years of voluntary exile

In voluntary exile for two years, installed between the United Arab Emirates and the United States, former Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri returned to Lebanon on Sunday February 11 evening to participate in the commemorations marking the 19th anniversary of the assassination of his father, Rafic Hariri.

Former Prime Minister Saad Hariri during his last lightning visit to Beirut on February 14, 2023 for the 18th anniversary of the death of his father. AP - Hassan Ammar

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With our correspondent in Beirut,

Paul Khalifeh

After withdrawing from Lebanese political life in January 2022, Saad Hariri only came to


once last year to commemorate the anniversary of his father's assassination. However, he had canceled a speech and was content to pay his respects in front of

the tomb of Rafic Hariri

in downtown Beirut, before packing up as quickly as he had come.

This year things seem different. His supporters have been working for weeks to mobilize a large crowd on Wednesday February 14, the day of commemoration. She intends to express a strong message so that Saad Hariri remains the most representative Sunni leader in the country, despite his voluntary exile, after losing the support of Saudi Arabia, the traditional sponsor of this community.

No public statement for two years

The former Prime Minister, who has not made a public statement for almost two years, will spend at least a week in Beirut. His stay will be marked by a series of meetings with political leaders, religious figures and representatives of different parties.

Saad Hariri's supporters want his return to the Lebanese internal scene to put an end to what they call the marginalization of the Sunni community and the fragmentation of its ruling elites.

Read also Faced with tensions in southern Lebanon, Hezbollah appears as protector


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