Lebanese cardinal arrives in Saudi Arabia to meet Hariri

U.S. Secretary of Defence Jim Mattis with Saudi Arabia's leader Mohammad bin Salman in March 2017

"He will come to France and the prince has been informed", Le Drian told reporters, referring to powerful Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman with whom he held talks the night before.

He said that Hariri was welcome to come to Lebanon and resign properly, after which a new government would be formed in accordance with parliamentary rules.

Hariri's older brother meanwhile broke his silence over the premier's shock resignation announced from Riyadh earlier this month, after speculation that the elder Hariri was being groomed by Saudi Arabia to fill the post.

He also warned of possible Saudi action against Lebanon, including sanctions and threats to the livelihood of Lebanese workers in the Gulf, unless Hezbollah is reined in.

The announcement comes 11 days after Hariri, on a trip to Saudi Arabia, announced he was resigning his office, saying that his life was in danger.

The kingdom has been demanding that Hezbollah play no role in future government, accusing the group of supporting anti-Saudi Yemen rebels known as Houthis.

Aoun has previously said he will not accept Hariri's resignation until he returns to Beirut to tender it and explain his reasons. "Hezbollah has kidnapped the Lebanese system", he said.

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"We consider him detained, arrested" in violation of global laws, Aoun wrote on his official Twitter account.

There would be consultations before he returns to Beirut to build global support for him to negotiate a new political deal in Lebanon, French officials said.

Khair Allah suggested on Tuesday a bundle of measures that should be taken by Lebanese President Michael Aoun to resolve the crisis and curb the guerilla group's power.

Aoun said Saudi Arabia had committed a "hostile act against Lebanon", and that he had called the ambassadors of U.N. Security Council nations about the matter. A Saudi-owned TV station showed them chatting in the Lebanese leader's home in Riyadh without giving details about the meeting.

But Bassil, who is on a European tour seeking support for his country amid the crisis, said that Lebanon also has the option of resorting to global law, without elaborating.

Sources close to the prime minister said that he was forced to quit by Saudi officials in Riyadh.

It was not immediately clear if Bassil would attend the Arab League foreign ministers' meeting in Cairo.

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