November 10, 2017 / 3:53 PM / a year ago

France wants Hariri movements' free, able to play role in Lebanon

FILE PHOTO - French Foreign Affairs Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian speaks during an address to the media at the Secretariat of Foreign Affairs (SRE) in Mexico City, Mexico, November 1, 2017. REUTERS/Edgard Garrido

PARIS (Reuters) - France’s foreign ministry said on Friday it wanted Lebanon’s Saad al-Hariri to be free of his movements and fully able to play an essential role in his country.

“Our ambassador to Saudi Arabia visited Saad al-Hariri at his home on his return from the trip he made to the United Arab Emirates, to which the (foreign) minister (Jean-Yves Le Drian) referred to this morning,” French deputy foreign ministry spokesman Alexandre Georgini said.

“As the minister said, we wish that Saad al-Hariri has all his freedom of movement and be fully able to play the essential role that is his in Lebanon,” he added.

The comments appeared to differ slightly from Le Drian, who said on Europe 1 radio Friday morning, that as far as France was aware Hariri was free of his movements and that it was important he made his own choices.

Reporting by John Irish; editing by Michel Rose

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