French President Emmanuel Macron has made an unscheduled visit to Saudi Arabia in an apparent quest to gather information on the condition of “former” Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri who gave what most believe to be a forced resignation speech before Saudi state-run television in Riyadh.
While Saudi media published photos of Hariri meeting with Saudi ally, Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed, many Lebanese politicians are openly questioning whether Hariri has been imprisoned in Saudi Arabia as part of the wider purges being conducted by the regime at the behest of Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman.
Macron has been photographed with a smiling Prince Muhammad bin Salman as allegations emerge that his purges of Saudi princes, government ministers and clerics was far wider than originally reported.
France often takes it upon itself to be concerned with the affairs of Lebanon, a former French mandate in the Levant.
While Macron did not specifically mention Lebanese and possibly now French fears about Hariri, he did offer the following ambiguous statement
“My wish is that all Lebanese political officials live freely in Lebanon… which means having a very demanding stance on those who could threaten any leader”.
Rumours have swirled that sometime in the next 24 to 48 hours, Saudi King Salman will abdicate in favour of Muhammad bin Salman.