Lebanese PM Hariri officially revokes resignation after parties agree to deal

06 December, 2017, 01:19 | Author: Brenda Erickson
  • A month after Hariri saga Saudi's Lebanon gambit backfires

The crisis was kicked off last month when Hariri announced his shock resignation while overseas in Saudi Arabia.

Hariri quit his job in a broadcast from Saudi Arabia a month ago but later said he might withdraw the resignation, providing all parties in Lebanon's government agree to adhere to the state's policy of "dissociation" from regional conflicts.

Hariri heads a coalition government which includes Hezbollah-affiliated ministers. Hariri, however, who is friendlier towards Saudi Arabia and has sent his children to school there, has a darker history with the group - his father, former Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri, was killed in a bombing blamed on Hezbollah in 2005.

Nothing about that is expected to change because of the Saudi maneuvering to coerce Mr. Hariri.

After the damning accusations of PM, the Secretary General of the Shia movement, Hassan Nasrallah, said that Saudi Arabia had effectively declared war on Lebanon and was holding Hariri in captivity.

Tuesday's cabinet meeting, the first held since the crisis began, endorsed a statement calling on Lebanese groups to distance themselves from regional conflicts and the internal affairs of other Arab countries.

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Hariri, a wealthy Sunni businessman with long ties to the kingdom, had denounced Iran during his resignation speech and said he was outside Lebanon because he feared for his family's safety.

One reason for the alarm over the Saudi move to pressure Mr. Hariri was the danger that it could further destabilize Lebanon.

Sunni Saudi Arabia and Shia Iran have always been fighting over dominance of the Middle East by supporting opposing forces in Iraq, Syria, Libya, Yemen, and Lebanon.

President Michel Aoun, a Hezbollah ally, refused to accept his resignation while he remained overseas.

The tension between Hariri and President Aoun also centers around their diverging stances on the militant group Hezbollah, which has supported President Bashar al-Assad in the Syrian conflict, as has Iran. Western governments, including the United States, stressed their support for Hariri and Lebanon.

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