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Lebanon's Hariri tells supporters 'I'm staying with you'

© AFP | Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri greets cheering supporters outside his home in Beirut on November 22, 2017 after announcing he had agreed to put his shock resignation on hold

BEIRUT (AFP) - 

Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri, back in Beirut after a mysterious odyssey that saw him announce his resignation in Saudi Arabia, told cheering supporters on Wednesday that he was staying.

"I'm staying with you... we're continuing together, to be the first line of defence for Lebanon and its stability," Hariri, looking buoyed and combative, told a large crowd gathered in front of his home.

"You're teaching the world loyalty, thank you, thank you, thank you," he said, wearing a dark blue sports jacket as he addressed hundreds of supporters waving flags with the colours of his Future Movement.

He flew in late Tuesday after spending around two weeks in Saudi Arabia in yet to be clarified circumstances and making stops in France, Egypt and Cyprus on his way back.

Lebanon's politicians, including some of his staunch adversaries, were uncharacteristically united in calling for his return.

He told reporters earlier Wednesday that President Michel Aoun had asked him to put his resignation on hold pending further consultations and that he had agreed to do so.

© 2017 AFP