Hollande to meet Syria, Lebanon opposition chiefs in Saudi
French President Francois Hollande will meet former Lebanese premier Saad Hariri and Syrian opposition leader Ahmed Jarba in Saudi Arabia, where he arrived Sunday, said a member of his entourage.
The meeting with Hariri, a fierce critic of the Syrian regime, comes amid heightening tensions in Lebanon after the assassination of his close aide, ex-minister Mohammad Chatah, in a car bomb on Friday in Beirut.
Hariri, the son of former premier Rafiq who was assassinated in a massive car bomb in February 2005, lives outside Lebanon due to security fears.
The Sunni Muslim leader is also a strong critic of the Iran-backed Shiite Hezbollah movement, which is fighting alongside President Bashar al-Assad's forces in Syria's civil war.
In an interview published Sunday in pan-Arab daily Al-Hayat, Hollande called for the respect of "constitutional deadlines" in Lebanon, starting with "holding presidential elections in May 2014".
© 2013 AFP