Lebanese President Tells Saudi Envoy: 'Hariri Must Return'

President Aoun has requested clarification after reports emerged that the former prime minister is being detained in Saudi Arabia

A poster of Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri hangs on the side of a road with a phrase reading in Arabic, " God protect you" in the northern Lebanese port city of Tripoli on November 9, 2017.
IBRAHIM CHALHOUB/AFP

President Michel Aoun told Saudi Arabia's envoy to Lebanon on Friday that Saad al-Hariri must return to the country, Lebanese media reported. 

Aoun also told the Saudi Charge d'Affaires Walid al-Bukhari that the circumstances of Hariri's resignation were unacceptable, the reports said. Hariri resigned while in Saudi Arabia last Saturday. 

Aoun had expressed concern earlier Friday over reports surrounding the circumstances of Saad Hariri, who resigned as Lebanese prime minister on Saturday while in Saudi Arabia.

Aoun, in a meeting with foreign ambassadors and representatives of the United Nations, EU and Arab League in Lebanon, urged clarification of these circumstances, presidential sources said.

Two top Lebanese government officials told Reuters on Thursday they believed Hariri was being held in Saudi Arabia.

A third source, a senior politician close to Hariri, said Saudi Arabia had ordered him to resign and put him under house arrest. A fourth source familiar with the situation said Saudi Arabia was controlling and limiting his movement.

Riyadh says Hariri is a free man.