76671
Saad al-Hariri (R) talks with President Michel Aoun while attending a military parade to celebrate  the 74th anniversary of Lebanon’s independence in Beirut, Nov. 22.
Saad al-Hariri (R) talks with President Michel Aoun while attending a military parade to celebrate  the 74th anniversary of Lebanon’s independence in Beirut, Nov. 22.

In Surprise Reversal, Lebanon PM Puts Resignation on Hold

Hariri’s reversal represents the latest Saudi foreign policy overreach under its controversial crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman, who is seen as being behind most of the country’s ill-advised decisions in recent weeks

In Surprise Reversal, Lebanon PM Puts Resignation on Hold

Lebanon’s Prime Minister Saad Hariri announced Wednesday he was putting his resignation on hold to make way for more consultations nearly three weeks after he unexpectedly announced he was stepping down —a stunning reversal and embarrassment to Saudi Arabia, which was widely seen as having orchestrated his resignation.
In surprise conciliatory comments from the presidential palace, Hariri said he is putting Lebanon’s interest first and is looking forward to a “real partnership with all political forces to put Lebanon’s higher interest before any other interests,” AP reported.
He said he presented his resignation to President Michel Aoun at the presidential palace, but then responded to Aoun’s request to take more time for consultations, “hoping it will constitute a serious opening for a responsible dialogue.”
“Our beloved nation needs in this critical period exceptional efforts from everyone to protect it in the face of dangers and challenges,” Hariri said in a statement from the presidential palace.
He reiterated the need for Lebanon to remain neutral on regional disputes and conflicts “and all that undermines internal stability and brotherly relations with Arab brothers.”
Hariri’s reversal represents the latest Saudi foreign policy overreach under its young Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who is seen as being behind most of the country’s major decisions.
Under the bullish crown prince, who has the blessing of his father King Salman, Saudi Arabia has taken a much harder line against Iran. He has a reputation for being both decisive and impulsive.
Hariri’s mysterious televised resignation from Saudi Arabia had sparked a political and diplomatic crisis as Lebanese officials accused the oil kingdom, which is feuding with Iran for influence in the region, of pressuring the Saudi-aligned politician to resign.
Saudi Embarrassment  
Top Lebanese officials accused Hariri’s patron, Saudi Arabia, of then detaining him in the kingdom for days. Feeling insulted, the Lebanese rallied around Hariri, unanimously calling for his return from Saudi Arabia in what became an embarrassment to the kingdom.
Posters have been erected around Beirut and other cities welcoming Hariri’s return.
Hariri’s reversal appears also to be a culmination of nearly three weeks of international pressure for Lebanon’s delicate political balance to hold, though Saudi Arabia likely knew in advance of Hariri’s decision to withdraw his resignation.
Earlier on Wednesday, Hariri participated in Independence Day celebrations, his first official appearance since his resignation.
Hariri’s resignation on Nov. 4 was not accepted by President Michel Aoun, who said he wanted to hear from Hariri in person first.
The premier had cited Iran and Hezbollah’s meddling in the region as a reason for his decision to step down, and also cited concerns for his own safety in Lebanon. Hezbollah is a partner in the coalition government formed by Hariri a year ago.
His resignation plunged Lebanon in turmoil and triggered concern that the tiny country, which has enjoyed relative calm amid a Middle East on fire, would again be dragged to the forefront of the intensifying regional rivalry between Saudi Arabia and Iran.
The announcement that he was stepping down was followed by sharp Saudi rhetoric against Hezbollah, which the kingdom accuses of meddling on Iran’s behalf in regional affairs.
Hezbollah has been fighting on the side of Syrian President Bashar Assad in that country’s six-year civil war, where many of Assad’s enemies are rebels backed by Saudi Arabia. The kingdom claims Hezbollah is also advising Houthi rebels waging a war against Yemen’s Saudi-backed government. Hezbollah denies it is militarily supporting the Houthis.
Hezbollah says Saudi Arabia is sowing instability in Lebanon, and accused the pro-US oil kingdom of partnering with Israel to start a war with Lebanon.
Hariri, in his only in depth interview since announcing his resignation, told his media station Future TV that he could retract his resignation if a deal could be struck with his opponents to distance Lebanon from regional conflicts.

 

Short URL : https://goo.gl/XXEXWL
  1. https://goo.gl/QfrWZT
  • https://goo.gl/AnQdxQ
  • https://goo.gl/fDphus
  • https://goo.gl/wwU14d
  • https://goo.gl/tzFh8P

You can also read ...

Seoul Dismayed by Collapse of Trump-Kim Summit
The cancellation of a planned summit between US President...

Add new comment

Read our comment policy before posting your viewpoints

Trending

Googleplus