BEIRUT: Prime Minister-designate Saad Hariri denied Tuesday that his recent visit to France was an attempt to persuade French President Emanuel Macron to mediate the formation of a new Cabinet vis-à-vis Saudi Arabia.
In a statement released by his office, Hariri maintained that his relationship with the Saudi leadership and Crown Prince Mohamed Bin Salman is excellent and "does not require mediation from anyone."
The statement came in response to media reports that Hariri visited France to ask Macron to urge Riyadh to facilitate the formation of a Lebanese Cabinet.
Hezbollah and its allies have accused Saudi Arabia of hindering the Cabinet formation by piling pressure on Hariri to meet the demands of the Lebanese Forces and Progressive Socialist Party for a significant share of portfolios at the expense of the Iran-backed March 8 camp.
Hariri has denied the accusations, maintaining his commitment to the formation of an all-inclusive Cabinet.
"Saudi Arabia is not interfering in this purely internal Lebanese matter, on the contrary, it wishes that a Cabinet is formed as soon as possible," Hariri argued.
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