Lebanon’s three top leaders gathered Wednesday to celebrate the country’s 74th Independence Day with a military parade, meeting for the first time since Prime Minister Saad Hariri resigned from Saudi Arabia earlier this month in a move that stunned the country.
Wednesday’s parade comes hours after Hariri returned to Lebanon after being held in Saudi Arabia for three weeks.
The resignation of Hariri on Nov. 4 prompted a crisis in Lebanon and set off international efforts.
Hariri is expected to first meet with President Michel Aoun and the parliament speaker Nabih Hariri at the military parade. The three are expected to meet privately after, before Hariri meets with his supporters at his residence in the center of the capital. His Future Movement has called on supporters to gather at his home in downtown Beirut at 1:00 pm (1100 GMT).
Upon arriving in Beirut shortly before midnight, Hariri went straight from the airport to pray at the grave of his father, the late Prime Minister Rafik Hariri, assassinated in 2005. He then retired to his home in central Beirut.
He arrived in Beirut after stops in Cairo to see Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, and Cyprus, where he met President Nicos Anastasiades.