International News

Saudi Arabia recalls ambassador to Berlin over Lebanon comments

Saudi Arabia has recalled its ambassador to Berlin in protest over comments made by the German foreign minister perceived as suggesting Lebanon’s Prime Minister Saad Hariri had been held against his will in Riyadh, Saudi state media said Saturday.
Hariri, a dual Saudi citizen left Riyadh for France early Saturday following fevered speculation over his situation after he announced his shock resignation on television in Saudi Arabia two weeks ago saying he had left Lebanon in fear for his life.
Early Saturday, Riyadh’s state news agency SPA released a statement protesting comments on the crisis by German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel calling for Lebanon’s neighbours — including Saudi Arabia — to let it decide its own fate.
Saudi Arabia has decided to recall its ambassador to Germany for consultations and will give the German ambassador in the kingdom a letter protesting these unfortunate and unjustified statements,” SPA said, citing a spokesman for the Saudi foreign ministry.
Hariri’s resignation announcement and his subsequent failure to return home to officially quit in person, fuelled speculation that he was acting under orders from his Saudi patrons.
Shortly before leaving Riyadh for Paris, Hariri said in a tweet addressed to Gabriel that it was untrue he was being held in Saudi.
To say that I am held up in Saudi Arabia and not allowed to leave the country is a lie. I am on the way to the airport, Hariri tweeted.