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Saudi Arabia: Riyadh’s power play pivots Beirut back into a political vacuum

Saad Hariri’s extended sojourn in Riyadh, widely believed to be at King Salman Bin Abelaziz’s pleasure – or rather willed by his son Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman (MBS) – has stirred concern far beyond Beirut, and discontent within Lebanese ranks, with deep unease at the way the Saudi passport-holding prime minister is being used a bargaining chip. Hariri’s shock resignation in the Saudi capital on 4 November, claiming an imminent assassination threat faced him back home, is now widely viewed to have been forced.

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