AP wire

The Latest: Saudi should clarify why Hariri hasn't returned

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BEIRUT (AP) — The Latest on developments in Lebanon (all times local):

3:05 p.m.

Lebanon's President Michel Aoun has called on Saudi Arabia to clarify why Prime Minister Saad Hariri hasn't returned home since announcing his resignation in the kingdom last week.

A political crisis has gripped Lebanon and shattered the relative peace maintained by its coalition government since Hariri's announcement Nov. 4 from the Saudi capital that he was resigning.

Lebanese officials have insisted on the return home of Hariri from Saudi Arabia amid rumors he is being held against his will.

In a statement released by his office, Aoun called on Saudi Arabia "that is linked to us through deep brotherly and friendly relations to clarify the reasons that are preventing" Hariri from returning to Lebanon.

Aoun said that a Marathon planned in Beirut on Sunday in which tens of thousands will participate should be "a national sports demonstration for solidarity with prime minister Hariri and his return to his country."

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2:35 p.m.

The United States and France have expressed their support for Lebanon's sovereignty and stability amid heightening tensions between Beirut and Saudi Arabia.

A political crisis has gripped Lebanon and shattered the relative peace maintained by its coalition government since Prime Minister Saad Hariri's stunning announcement Nov. 4 from the Saudi capital that he was resigning.

Lebanese officials have insisted on the return home of Hariri from Saudi Arabia amid rumors he is being held against his will.

White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in a statement Saturday that Washington calls upon "all states and parties to respect Lebanon's sovereignty, independence, and constitutional processes."

Lebanon's state-run National News Agency reported Saturday that French President Emmanuel Macron called his Lebanese counterpart expressing France's commitment to Lebanon's "unity, sovereignty and independence."

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