Published: Wed, December 06, 2017
Global | By Shelia Dennis

Lebanon PM Hariri revokes resignation as all parties agree deal

Lebanon PM Hariri revokes resignation as all parties agree deal

Lebanese Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri rescinded his resignation on Tuesday, drawing a line under a month-long crisis triggered when he announced from Riyadh that he was stepping down and remained outside Lebanon for weeks.

Hariri announced his surprise resignation last month in a televised broadcast from Saudi Arabia, citing Hezbollah's alleged meddling in regional affairs as the main reason for his decision. 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. Hariri's Saudi allies accuse Hezbollah of waging war across the Middle East as agents of Iran.

Lebanon PM Hariri revokes resignation as all parties agree deal
Lebanon PM Hariri revokes resignation as all parties agree deal

Following French diplomacy that facilitated Hariri's departure from Saudi Arabia to Paris for a brief visit, he returned to Lebanon on November 21 and put the resignation on hold to allow for consultations.

"The Lebanese government, through all its political components, disassociates itself from any conflicts or wars, as well as the internal affairs of Arab countries to protect Lebanon's political and economic relations with its Arab brothers, " Hariri said.

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Hariri's planned departure was seen as the latest fallout from the proxy war between Sunni-majority Saudia Arabia and Shiite-majority Iran, who back different sides in Syria and Yemen's civil wars.

Mr. Hariri said in a brief statement after a cabinet meeting Tuesday that the government had recommitted to dissociate "from any dispute and conflicts or wars, and not to interfere in the internal affairs of the Arab states, in order to preserve the relationship between Lebanon and its Arab brethren".

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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.

Aoun had said he would not accept Hariri's resignation unless he presented it in person. Western governments, including the United States, stressed their support for Hariri and Lebanon.

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France is expected to host a meeting of the Group of International Support for Lebanon this week, as part of its continued efforts to maintain stability in Lebanon.

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