Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri returned home late Tuesday night following a confounding few weeks that began with his shock resignation from Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, where many Lebanese officials believe Hariri was "held hostage".
On Saturday, Hariri traveled to Paris, France, where he was hosted by French President Emmanuel Macron and promised to "clarify" his position on return to Beirut.
In his absence, billboards reading "We want our PM back" and "Waiting for you" have lined the streets of the Lebanese capital in a rare show of unity among the country's many competing political and religious groups.
The unexpected development was widely read as having been forced on Hariri by Saudi Arabia to counter its arch-rival Iran's influence in Lebanon and the region, specifically via its powerful Shia proxy, the political party and militant group Hezbollah.
Amid the confusion, many now fear Lebanon is once again on the brink of turmoil.
"The U.S. and EU worry that increasing instability in Lebanon will further destabilize an already volatile region," said Marianne Knaevelsrud, Middle East analyst at Protection Group International.
"Lebanon hosts more refugees per capita than any other country, a huge economic burden and potential source of insecurity. The West is concerned that political uncertainty could exacerbate the refugee situation or allow militant groups to expand their influence." Lebanon hosts nearly 2 million Syrian refugees.
Further fears concern escalating tensions between Hezbollah and neighboring Israel, which in 2006 led to a month-long war.