Mideast Daily News

Hariri Returns To Lebanon, Suspends Resignation

By Charles Bybelezer | The Media Line

November 23, 2017

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Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri returned to Beirut where he backtracked on his decision to resign, thereby easing a crisis that has deepened tensions between Sunni Saudi Arabia and Shiite Iran. Hariri made his original announcement on November 4 from Riyadh, leading to speculation that the House of Saud orchestrated the move to destabilize Lebanon and thus reduce Iran’s influence in the country, which is projected through its Hizbullah underling. The ordeal thrust Lebanon into political turmoil and led to mutual recriminations between the pro-Iranian Lebanese government and Riyadh, which supports Hariri. In a televised address at the presidential palace in Beirut, the Lebanese premier stated that he “presented [his] resignation to President [Michel] Aoun [but] he urged me…to hold onto it [to allow] for more dialogue about its reasons and political background, and I showed responsiveness.” Aoun, a Hizbullah ally, had refused to accept the resignation on the grounds that it did not accord with constitutional norms, while claiming that Hariri was being held hostage by the Saudis. Hizbullah leader Hassan Nasrallah, who had also called for Hariri’s return, said his organization was open to “any dialogue and any discussion.”

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