Saudi Arabia reportedly holding ex-Lebanese prime minister against his will

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Lebanon's Prime Minister Saad Hariri gives a live TV interview in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, Sunday Nov. 12, 2017, saying he will return to his country "within days".

It came just hours after Mr Hariri made his first public comments since announcing his resignation from Saudi Arabia.

"The obscurity surrounding the condition of PM Saad Hariri since his resignation a week ago means that all positions and actions declared by him or attributed to him do not reflect the truth", Aoun added.

The Lebanese head of state has yet to formally accept Hariri's resignation and has criticised the circumstances surrounding it as "unacceptable".

Lebanon has always been a hub for proxy battles between Saudi Arabia, Iran and other regional players.

When he resigned on November 4, he said he feared assassination.

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He also repeatedly said he was ready to die for Lebanon - his father, former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri, was killed by a vehicle bomb in Beirut in 2005 - but added that he didn't want his children to go through that kind of ordeal.

Saudi Arabia has stepped up its rhetoric against Hezbollah and its patron, Iran, accusing both of supporting Shiite rebels in Yemen known as Houthis.

Lebanon's Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri is now in Saudi Arabia.

"I am free", Mr Hariri told the TV interviewer.

For his part, Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah has accused Saudi Arabia of declaring war on Lebanon, and claimed that the kingdom had incited Israel to strike Lebanon. There was even speculation that Hariri's plane had been ambushed after landing in Riyadh and he was being held against his will.

According to Aoun, the "mysterious circumstances" under which Al Hariri is now being held, throw doubt "over anything that Hariri has said, or will say, and his statements could not be considered as an expression of his full free will". Analysts said a more likely theatre for compromise would be Yemen, which Mr Hariri brought up a few times during his speech.

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Saudi authorities claim that their moves against Beirut and Harari are a response to Hezbollah's support for Yemen's Houthi opposition political faction, now fighting a desperate war against an extremely well-armed Saudi-led coalition supplied with USA weapons.

The premier has yet to return to Lebanon and rumours have swirled that he is being held in Saudi Arabia against his will.

Hezbollah has expanded its political role in the complex Lebanese coalition during Hariri's 11 months in office.

Hariri said his resignation was intended as a "positive shock" to his country, which he saw in danger.

Hariri's comments however encouraged a recovery on Monday in Lebanese dollar bonds, which slumped last week.

"Hariri's remarks on Sunday gave small hope of the possibility of his return to Lebanon.Iran does not interfere in Lebanon's affairs", Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Qasemi was quoted as saying by state TV.

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