• Sunday, Sep 26, 2021
  • Last Update : 08:34 am

Lebanon PM Hariri shelves resignation, easing crisis

  • Published at 08:20 pm November 22nd, 2017
Lebanon PM Hariri shelves resignation, easing crisis

Lebanon's Saad al-Hariri on Wednesday shelved his decision to resign as prime minister at the request of President Michel Aoun, easing a crisis that had deepened tensions in the Middle East.

Hariri made his announcement after returning to Beirut for the first time since he quit abruptly on November 4 in a broadcast from Saudi Arabia. Top Lebanese officials have said Riyadh forced him to quit and held him in the kingdom. Riyadh and Hariri deny this.

At the presidential palace near Beirut, Hariri said he hoped his move would lead to "a responsible dialogue...that deals with divisive issues and their repercussions on Lebanon's relations with Arab brothers."

Hariri said all Lebanese sides must commit to keeping the country out of regional conflicts, a reference to the Iran-backed Hezbollah political amd military movement. Hezbollah's regional military role has greatly alarmed Saudi Arabia, Hariri's long-time ally.

"I presented today my resignation to President Aoun and he urged me to wait before offering it and to hold onto it for more dialogue about its reasons and political background, and I showed responsiveness," he said in a televised statement.

The resignation had shocked even Hariri's aides. He returned to Lebanon late on Tuesday night after French intervention.

Aoun, a political ally of Hezbollah, had refused to accept the resignation because it happened in "mysterious circumstances" abroad. He had called Hariri a hostage in Riyadh.

Regional rivalry

Hariri appeared to express relief that Aoun had not accepted the resignation right away. He thanked Aoun on Wednesday for respecting constitutional norms and "his rejection of departing from them under any circumstances".

The resignation pitched Lebanon to the forefront of the regional rivalry between Sunni Muslim Saudi Arabia and Shia Islamist Iran, which backs Lebanon's Hezbollah, and raised concerns of a protracted crisis.

In his resignation speech, Hariri had cited fear of assassination, and attacked Iran along with Hezbollah for sowing strife in the Arab world.

Preserving Lebanese coexistence

Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, who had also called for Hariri's return, said on Monday his group was open to "any dialogue and any discussion." Nasrallah also issued his clearest denial yet of any Hezbollah role in Yemen.

A senior source in a political alliance that includes Hezbollah said Hariri's move on Wednesday would start a breakthrough in the crisis. "This step is not detached from the framework of a complete solution whose features will appear in the coming days," the source said.

A government minister from the United Arab Emirates (UAE), a close ally of Saudi Arabia, said Lebanon must implement its policy of keeping out of Middle East conflicts in order to get out of its own crisis as well as regional troubles.

Hariri took office last year in a power-sharing deal that made Aoun head of state. He arrived in Beirut in time for independence day celebrations on Wednesday morning, taking the premier's seat alongside Aoun and Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri.

50
Facebook 50
blogger sharing button blogger
buffer sharing button buffer
diaspora sharing button diaspora
digg sharing button digg
douban sharing button douban
email sharing button email
evernote sharing button evernote
flipboard sharing button flipboard
pocket sharing button getpocket
github sharing button github
gmail sharing button gmail
googlebookmarks sharing button googlebookmarks
hackernews sharing button hackernews
instapaper sharing button instapaper
line sharing button line
linkedin sharing button linkedin
livejournal sharing button livejournal
mailru sharing button mailru
medium sharing button medium
meneame sharing button meneame
messenger sharing button messenger
odnoklassniki sharing button odnoklassniki
pinterest sharing button pinterest
print sharing button print
qzone sharing button qzone
reddit sharing button reddit
refind sharing button refind
renren sharing button renren
skype sharing button skype
snapchat sharing button snapchat
surfingbird sharing button surfingbird
telegram sharing button telegram
tumblr sharing button tumblr
twitter sharing button twitter
vk sharing button vk
wechat sharing button wechat
weibo sharing button weibo
whatsapp sharing button whatsapp
wordpress sharing button wordpress
xing sharing button xing
yahoomail sharing button yahoomail