Lebanon unwilling to harm Arab countries: Hariri

Pauline Gross
December 6, 2017

From Saudi Arabia, which he visited on November 4, Hariri announced his resignation in a televised broadcast, saying that he feared for his life and denouncing a possible assassination plot against him, which sparked a major political crisis in Lebanon.

Prime Minister Saad Hariri Tuesday reiterated Lebanon's "Arab" identity, adding that it wasn't up for debate as he said the country was not in a position to harm its Arab regional neighbors.

The prime minister unexpectedly resigned from his post early last month, throwing the small, religiously diverse Middle Eastern country into political turmoil.

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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At the beginning of the session, President Michel Aoun said that Lebanon's unity during Hariri's absence was vital and enabled the country to get through the crisis.

Hariri had announced last week that he was going to officially withdraw his resignation sometime this week if "positive circumstances" continue.

The Sunni prime minister, who has always been opposed to the Iran-backed Hezbollah, lambasted Iran for sowing discord in Lebanon through its Shia ally Hezbollah. In his televised address at the time, Hariri said: "I want to tell Iran and its followers that they are losing their interferences in the Arab nation's affairs".

Hezbollah, which is backed by Iran, has come under fire in recent years from local political groups and regional powerhouses including Saudi Arabia for its involvement in Syria, where it has helped to prop up Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

Other reports by GizPress

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