EU Urges 'No External Interference' in Lebanon
The European Union on Monday called for an end to external interference in Lebanon, after Prime Minister Saad Hariri resigned unexpectedly, triggering rumors he was being held against his will in Saudi Arabia.
Hariri sent shock waves through Lebanon when he unexpectedly quit as prime minister a week ago, though on Sunday he rejected rumors he was under de facto house arrest in Riyadh, insisting he was "free" and would return home soon.
His resignation came as tensions rise between Riyadh and Tehran, which back opposing sides in power struggles from Lebanon and Syria to Yemen.
The EU's diplomatic chief Federica Mogherini said that a meeting of the bloc's foreign ministers in Brussels on Monday had voiced unanimous support for Lebanon's "unity and stability."
"We expect no external interference in this national agenda and we believe it is essential to avoid importing into Lebanon regional conflicts, regional dynamics, regional tensions that have to stay out of the country," Mogherini said, adding that she would meet Foreign Minister Jebran Bassil in Brussels on Tuesday.
She said outside interference in Lebanon was a "current and always existing threat."