Picture Courtesy: Carlos Menendez San Juan
Hezbollah has accused Saudi Arabia of declaring war on Lebanon by detaining Saad al-Hariri and making him resign as Lebanon’s prime minister.
Top Lebanese officials have echoed the sentiments, accusing Riyadh of holding Mr Hariri captive, and his party, Future Movement, have demanded his return.
“The return of the Lebanese Prime Minister, the national leader, Saad Hariri, and the head of the Future Movement, is necessary to restore the dignity and respect to Lebanon at home and abroad,” said a former premier, Fouad Saniora, in a statement read on TV.
Saudi Arabia have said that as long as Iran-backed Hezbollah was in the Lebanese government it would deal with Lebanon as a hostile state.
Saudi Arabian citizens have been ordered out of Lebanon and warned against travelling to the country, with Kuwait, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates following suit.
An earlier statement by Riyadh claimed that Lebanon and Hezbollah had declared war, blaming the militant Hezbollah’s aggression.
In his resignation statement Mr Hariri accused Iran and Hezbollah of sowing strife in the region, and said he fears for his life.
Hezbollah, with its powerful guerrilla army, is represented in both the Lebanese parliament and the coalition government that Mr Hariri led.