Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman has allegedly pressured the Lebanese Prime Minister to resign.
Saad Hariri, the Lebanese Prime Minister was allegedly forced to resign after coming under pressure from the Saudi Arabian government and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. Hariri was allegedly held captive by the Saudi government in order to ensure he would resign.
The Lebanese Prime Minister’s came abruptly a month ago while visiting Saudi Arabia.
The New York Times reports that Hariri was summoned for a meeting early in the morning. While there he had his cell phone confiscated, his bodyguards removed and were manhandled. It was later on that day that he presented his resignation to Saudi television.
There are also allegations that his resignation speech was also written by Mohammed bin Salman. The Prime Minister’s resignation speech blamed Iran for his departure. The New York Times reported that by doing so the Saudi Arabian government was aiming to diminish the influence of Iran in the region. They also suggested that this would spark a regional crisis.
Lebanese officials said that Hariri had been coerced by the Saudi government into resigning. They also claim that it was only after the intervention of France that the Saudi government allowed him to return to Lebanon. Saudi Arabia denies these allegations.
Hariri has since revoked his resignation with support from the President Michel Aoun.
Saudi Crown Prince bin Salman recently conducted a crackdown on corruption within the country Over 200 people were arrested and over 1000 bank accounts frozen. Those arrested range from other crown princes to ex-senior governmental ministers. It is thought that the crackdown was a way to consolidate power. Some of those arrested have since been released on incredibly large bails; one worth over $1 billion.
It is thought that the corruption crackdown has been positive among the population which is made up by a significant amount of young people.