Saudi FM says up to Hariri to decide to return

PARIS (AP) — Saudi Arabia’s foreign minister says it is up to resigned Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri to decide when to return to Lebanon.

Adel al-Jubeir says Thursday it was Hariri’s decision to resign and it will be his decision to decide when to return to Lebanon. He said Hariri will also study the security situation in Lebanon before returning.

France has invited Hariri and his family to visit, a decision hailed by the Lebanese president as a way to end the crisis.

Lebanon has plunged into a crisis following Hariri’s resignation from Saudi Arabia nearly two weeks ago. He cited concerns over meddling from Iran and its Lebanese ally Hezbollah in regional affairs as reason for his resignation. He also said he feared for his life.

Al-Jubeir said allegations that Saudi Arabia is detaining Hariri are “rejected and baseless.”

Al-Jubeir said Hezbollah should respect Lebanon’s sovereignty, accuses it of supporting Shiite rebels in Yemen