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Saad El-Din Rafik Al-Hariri (Arabic: سعد الدين رفيق الحريري‎; born 18 April 1970)[5] is a Lebanese politician who has been the Prime Minister of Lebanon since December 2016.[6] He was also the Prime Minister from November 2009 to June 2011. He is the second son of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafic Hariri, who was assassinated in 2005. Hariri has also been the leader of the Future Movement party since 2005. He is seen as "the strongest figurehead" of the March 14 Alliance.[7] After three years living overseas, he returned to Lebanon on 8 August 2014[6][8][9] and was designated Prime Minister on 3 November 2016. Hariri's surprise announcement of an intent to resign, broadcast on 4 November 2017 on Saudi state TV, has widely been seen as part of the Iran–Saudi Arabia proxy conflict in Lebanon,[10] and triggered a dispute between Lebanon and Saudi Arabia. The resignation was later suspended, following President Michel Aoun's request to "put it on hold ahead of further consultations".

Saad Hariri
سعد الحريري
President of Russia Vladimir Putin & Prime Minister Lebanon Saad Hariri in Sochi, 13 September 2017 (3) (Cropped).jpg
33rd Prime Minister of Lebanon
Assumed office
18 December 2016
PresidentMichel Aoun
DeputyGhassan Hasbani
Preceded byTammam Salam
In office
9 November 2009 – 13 June 2011
PresidentMichel Suleiman
DeputyElias Murr
Preceded byFouad Siniora
Succeeded byNajib Mikati
Member of Parliament
Assumed office
28 June 2005
Preceded byRafic Hariri
Leader of the Future Movement Party
Assumed office
20 April 2005
Preceded byRafic Hariri
Personal details
Saad El-Din Rafik Al-Hariri

(1970-04-18) 18 April 1970 (age 49)
Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
Political partyFuture Movement
Other political
March 14 Alliance
Spouse(s)Lara Al Azem (m. 1998)
  • Houssam
  • Loulwa
  • Abdulaziz
FatherRafic Hariri
ResidenceBeirut, Lebanon
Alma materGeorgetown University
WebsiteOfficial website

Early years

Saad Hariri was born in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia[11][12] on 18 April 1970, and is the son of Rafic Hariri and his first wife Nidal Bustani, an Iraqi.[13] In addition to his native Arabic, Hariri speaks English, French and Italian. He graduated in 1992 from the McDonough School of Business at Georgetown University with a major in business administration.[14] He then returned to Saudi Arabia where he managed part of his father's business in Riyadh until his father's assassination in 2005.

Business activities

Hariri in 2009

Prior to entering politics, Hariri was the chairman of the executive committee of Oger Telecom, which pursued telecommunication interests in the Middle East and Africa, from 1994 to 2005.[15] In addition, Hariri was the chairman of Omnia Holdings and a board member of Oger International Entreprise de Travaux Internationaux, Saudi Oger, Saudi Investment Bank, Saudi Research and Marketing Group and Lebanese television channel Future TV.[16]

Political career

On 20 April 2005, the Hariri family announced that Saad Hariri would lead the Future Movement, an essentially Sunni movement that was created and led by his late father.[13][17] He was the leader of the March 14 Alliance, a coalition of political groups born out of the Cedar Revolution which, through mass popular demonstrations and Western support, led to the withdrawal of Syrian troops from Lebanon in 2005 after a 29-year presence.


Hariri was prime minister from 9 November 2009 until 13 June 2011.

Government collapse

On 12 January 2011, minutes after Hariri posed for pictures with President Barack Obama in the Oval Office, the opposition parties resigned from his unity government cabinet, causing its collapse. The withdrawal of Hezbollah and its allies was due to political tensions arising from investigations into the assassination of Rafic Hariri.[18] Hezbollah operatives had been accused of the assassination of Rafic Hariri.[18]

Hariri continued on for four months as caretaker Prime Minister. The new Lebanese government was formed on 13 June 2011 and headed by Najib Mikati. Mikati created an 8 March-led government coalition.[18]

Syrian arrest warrant

On 12 December 2012, Syria issued a warrant for the arrest of Hariri, Future bloc deputy Okab Sakr and Free Syrian Army official Louay Almokdad on charges of arming and providing financial support for Syrian opposition groups.[19] Hariri released a statement in response, describing Bashar Assad as a "monster".[19]

Second tenure

Following more than two years of deadlock in electing a president, Michel Aoun was elected. Shortly after, Aoun signed a decree appointing Hariri as prime minister for the second time[20] and he took office on 18 December 2016.[20]

Dispute with Saudi Arabia

On 4 November 2017, in a televised statement from Saudi Arabia, Hariri tendered his resignation from office, citing Iran’s and Hezbollah's political over-extension in the Middle East region and fears of assassination.[21][22] Iran vehemently rejected Saad Hariri's remarks and called his resignation part of a plot by the United States, Israel, and Saudi Arabia to heighten Middle Eastern tensions.[23] The Lebanese Army responded with a statement that intelligence in its possession in addition to ongoing arrests and investigations had not revealed “the presence of any plan for assassinations in the country.”[24]

Most Iran-leaning or Shia-aligned Lebanese groups, including Hezbollah, were among the first to accuse Saudi Arabia of holding Hariri hostage; Hariri's associates and Saudi officials subsequently denied this. Several Lebanese commentators poked fun at the released pictures of Hariri in Saudi Arabia for their apparent similarity to those taken of hostages. Anti-Hezbollah blogger Michael Young stated that he did not think Hariri was an actual hostage of the Saudi regime, but that the situation confirmed Hariri's close ties with them. However, Lebanese-American political scientist As'ad AbuKhalil claimed that the Saudis had jailed and physically restrained and assaulted Hariri before ordering him to broadcast his resignation.[25] In November, it was announced that Hariri was on his way from Saudi Arabia to the United Arab Emirates. Hariri's own party's media outlet reported that he would then move on to Bahrain and later back to Beirut, but both of these trips were subsequently cancelled and he was sent back to Riyadh.[26][27][28] Hariri's allies, who usually aligned with Saudi Arabia, then joined the other parties in their concern for Hariri's freedom being limited by Saudi Arabia. The majority of the Lebanese government requested his return.[29][30] On 11 November, Lebanese President Michel Aoun released the statement: "Lebanon does not accept its prime minister being in a situation at odds with international treaties and the standard rules in relations between states."[31]

Later in November, Hariri left for France to meet French President Emmanuel Macron. Macron specifically requested he take his wife and children along with him. He was able to make such a request due to Hariri's French citizenship.[4] Hariri declared in Beirut on 21 November that he had suspended his resignation. He stated that President Michel Aoun had asked him to "put it on hold ahead of further consultations".[32] He refused to talk about what happened in Saudi Arabia and claimed that events will remain undisclosed.[33] He rescinded his resignation on 5 December and stated that all members of the government had agreed to stay out of conflicts in Arab countries.[34]


In 2007, French President Jacques Chirac awarded Saad Hariri the Légion d'honneur.[16]

Personal life

Hariri with Vladimir Putin, Nikol Pashinyan and Shavkat Mirziyoyev at the FIFA World Cup in Russia, 14 June 2018

Saad Hariri born in 1970 in Riyadh is the second son of Lebanese Prime Minister Rafic Hariri and his first wife Nidal Bustani, an Iraqi. He has an older brother Bahaa Hariri (born 1967) and another brother Houssam Hariri who died young in a traffic accident. After his parents divorced, his father married Nazik Hariri (née Audi) in 1976. Saad Hariri has two half-brothers and one half-sister from his father's second marriage: Ayman Hariri, (born 1978), Fahd Hariri, (born c. 1980/81) and Hind Hariri, a sister (born 1984).

Hariri holds multiple citizenships: Lebanese,[1][2][3] Saudi Arabian[1][2][3] and French.[4] He married Lara Al Azem in 1998, the daughter of Bashir Al Azem, an influential and wealthy Syrian construction magnate.[13] They have three children: Houssam (born 1999), Loulwa (born 2001), and Abdulaziz (born 2005).

Hariri lived in Paris from 2011 to 2014 for safety reasons, and returned to Lebanon on 8 August 2014.[7][35]

In 2011, he was said to have a net worth of $2 billion. As of May 2018, his net worth is estimated to be $1.36 billion.[36]

In 2013, Hariri paid his girlfriend South African energy drink saleswoman and escort, Candice van der Merwe, a $16 million cash gift after meeting her in the Seychelles. In 2019, South African courts sued van der Merwe for failing to pay income taxes on the amount, despite her claims that it was a gift and not taxable.[37]

See also


  1. ^ a b c d Rola el Husseini (15 October 2012). Pax Syriana: Elite Politics in Postwar Lebanon. Syracuse University Press. p. 261. ISBN 978-0-8156-3304-4. Retrieved 8 March 2013.
  2. ^ a b c d Hubbard, Ben; Saad, Hwaida (22 November 2017). "Saad Hariri Steps Back From Resignation in Lebanon". Retrieved 1 March 2018 – via
  3. ^ a b c d CNN, Chandrika Narayan. "Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri resigns". Retrieved 1 March 2018.
  4. ^ a b c Fisk, Robert. "Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri accepts exile in France as Saudi Arabia no longer feels like a home away from home". The independent. Retrieved 17 November 2017.
  5. ^ "سعد الدين الحريري… رئيس شركة سعودي اوجيه المحدودة". (in Arabic). Retrieved 4 November 2017.
  6. ^ a b "Hariri Back in Lebanon for First Time in 3 Years His nephew's name is Sultan Al Shaikh". Lebanon News.Net. Retrieved 8 August 2014.
  7. ^ a b "Lebanon and Syria: Peering into the abyss". The Economist. 27 October 2012. Retrieved 5 January 2013.
  8. ^ "News article". Al Hadath. Al Arabiya. 8 August 2014.
  9. ^ News presenter (8 August 2014). Prime Time News - 08/08/2014 (Video). MTVLebanonNews via YouTube. Retrieved 25 February 2016.
  10. ^ Lebanon's Hariri visits UAE as home crisis escalates, Reuters, "[Saad Hariri's] resignation has thrust Lebanon back into the frontline of the regional rivalry that pits a mostly Sunni bloc led by Saudi Arabia and allied Gulf monarchies against Shi‘ite Iran and its allies."
  11. ^ "His Excellency Deputy Saadeddine Rafiq Hariri". Arab Decision.
  12. ^ "The world's billionaires 2008: #334 Saad Hariri". Forbes. 3 May 2008.
  13. ^ a b c Vloeberghs, Ward (July 2012). "The Hariri Political Dynasty after the Arab Spring" (PDF). Mediterranean Politics. 18 (2): 241–248. doi:10.1080/13629395.2012.694046. Pdf.
  14. ^ "Hind Hariri is world's youngest billionaire". The Daily Star. 11 March 2006.
  15. ^ "سعد الحريري" (in Arabic). Al Jazeera. Retrieved 4 November 2017.
  16. ^ a b Salihovic, Elnur (5 October 2015). Major Players in the Muslim Business World. Univedrsal Publishers. p. 128. ISBN 9781627340526.
  17. ^ Mallat, Chibli. Lebanon's Cedar Revolution An essay on non-violence and justice (PDF). Mallat. p. 122. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2 February 2012.
  18. ^ a b c Simon, Kevin (2012). "Hezbollah: Terror in Context". Olin College of Engineering. Archived from the original on 4 January 2014. Retrieved 2 July 2012.
  19. ^ a b Dakroub, Hussein (13 December 2012). "Hariri calls Assad 'monster,' rejects warrants". The Daily Star. Retrieved 13 December 2012.
  20. ^ a b "New Cabinet in Lebanon vows to 'preserve stability'". Gulf News. Beirut. AFB. 19 December 2016. Retrieved 23 December 2016.
  21. ^ CNN, Chandrika Narayan. "Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri resigns". CNN. Retrieved 4 November 2017.
  22. ^ "Lebanon's prime minister just resigned 'over plot to target his life'". The Independent. 4 November 2017. Retrieved 4 November 2017.
  23. ^ "PressTV-Hariri resignation, US-Saudi-Zionist plot: Iran". Retrieved 5 November 2017.
  24. ^ "PressTV-Lebanon army: No assassination plots uncovered". Retrieved 5 November 2017.
  25. ^ AbuKhalil, As'ad (15 June 2018). "The Meaning of the Recent Lebanese Election (and How Hariri Suffered a Stinging Defeat)". Retrieved 16 June 2018.
  26. ^ Barnard, Anne (7 November 2017). "Where's Saad Hariri? Lebanon Wants to Know". Retrieved 1 March 2018 – via
  27. ^ Lebanon PM under house arrest in Saudi Arabia: pro-Hezbollah paper 7 November, Reuter
  28. ^ "Saad Hariri's resignation as Prime Minister of Lebanon is not all it seems". 9 November 2017. Retrieved 1 March 2018.
  29. ^ CNN, Tamara Qiblawi, Angela Dewan and Schams Elwazer. "Lebanese PM's allies believe Saudi Arabia is restricting his movement". CNN. Retrieved 10 November 2017.
  30. ^ "Exclusive: Lebanon believes Saudi holds Hariri, demands his return". Reuters. 9 November 2017. Retrieved 10 November 2017.
  31. ^ "Lebanese president presses Saudi to say why Hariri has not returned". Reuters. 11 November 2017.
  32. ^ "Saad Hariri: Lebanon PM 'suspends' resignation". BBC. Retrieved 21 November 2017.
  33. ^ "Hariri: What happened in Saudi stays in Saudi". Retrieved 1 December 2017.
  34. ^ "Lebanese prime minister Hariri rescinds his resignation". Retrieved 8 December 2017.
  35. ^ "Hassan Nasrallah answers Saad Hariri's speech: "Saad Hariri insulted his own father"". Iloubnan. 17 February 2013. Retrieved 11 March 2013.
  36. ^ Saad Hariri profile - Forbes Retrieved April 2011.
  37. ^ Hubbard, Ben (30 September 2019). "Lebanon's Prime Minister Gave $16 Million to South African Model". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 1 October 2019.

External links

Party political offices
Preceded by
Rafic Hariri
Leader of the Future Movement Party
Political offices
Preceded by
Fouad Siniora
Prime Minister of Lebanon
Succeeded by
Najib Mikati
Preceded by
Tammam Salam
Prime Minister of Lebanon