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Lebanese PM Saad Hariri Retakes Office After Announcing Resignation

06 December 2017, 01:23 | Darnell Patrick

Lebanese PM Saad Hariri Retakes Office After Announcing Resignation

Lebanese PM Saad Hariri Retakes Office After Announcing Resignation

Lebanese Premier Saad Hariri has officially withdrawn his resignation in Beirut, Lebanese media reported on Tuesday.

Hariri shocked the nation with his freaky resignation in a televised broadcast from Saudi Arabia last month, citing Lebanese militant group Hezbollah's meddling in regional affairs as a main reason for stepping down. 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.

The Lebanese have rallied around Hariri in what became an embarrassment for Saudi Arabia.

Hariri said in a statement that his cabinet had reached a consensus to "exclude" itself from "any disputes, conflicts, wars, or the internal affairs of Arab states".

His coalition government, which includes the Iran-backed Hezbollah group, reaffirmed a state policy of staying out of conflicts in Arab states.

Lebanese officials said Saudi Arabia had coerced Hariri, a long-time ally of the kingdom, into resigning and held him there against his will until an intervention by France led to his return to Lebanon.

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He then said he had rescinded his resignation.

The meeting, to be opened by French President Emmanuel Macron, aims in part to put pressure on Saudi Arabia and Iran to desist from interference in Lebanon, diplomats said.

Two days before Hariri returned to Lebanon, Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah reiterated that it was not playing a military role in warn-torn Yemen and categorically denied any role in launching a missile from Yemen toward Saudi Arabia.

"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 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.



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