Promises to work with President Michel Aoun
In a major turn-around development, Lebanese PM Saad al-Hariri has deferred his resignation, which he had suddenly announced in Saudi Arabia on November 4, and has promised to work with the country’s president, Michel Aoun.
According to Aljazeera, he declared his intention in a live telecast from country’s presidential palace on Wednesday after reaching Beirut. He returned from Paris on Tuesday evening.
Hariri said, “Today, I presented my resignation to the president and he urged me to hold onto it for more dialogue about its reasons and its political underpinnings … and I accepted.”
He further said, “I will do so in hopes that it will renew talks to strengthen our unity and resolve internal conflicts we have and how they reflect in our relations with our Arab brothers.”
While announcing his resignation while in Riyadh, he had criticised Iran for its intervention in Lebanese internal affairs and alleged Hezbollah for actively involved in the regional conflicts. He had also expressed danger of a plot for his assassination.
“At this time, Lebanon needs exceptional efforts from everyone in the face of upcoming challenges … I look forward today to a real partnership with all of the political parties to put Lebanon’s interest on top of anything else,” he said.
The report says that Hariri addressed the nation after holding a private meeting with President Michel Aoun in Beirut. Both leaders were seen in the celebrations commemorating country’s 74th Independence Day.
Hariri’s returned to Lebanon after two weeks of uncertainty which was erupted after his shock resignation on November 4, in a televised speech from Riyadh. Later, after Riyadh developed some understanding with Paris for extending “invitation” to Hariri, he travelled to France.
Hariri’s sudden resignation caused uncertainty in the politically fragile country. It was understood that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman had forced him to resign to create political vacuum in the country. Hariri was summoned through a telephonic call from Riyadh on November 3 and his mobile was ransacked while reached Riyadh on November 4. Nobody from royal family came to receive him at the airport.
Hariri’s children were left behind in Saudi Arabia while Hariri travelled to France.
Hariri later tweeted: “Our beloved nation requires at this precise moment in its life exceptional effort from everyone, in order to protect it as it faces danger and challenges. These efforts start with an adherence to a policy of neutrality with regards to everything that hurts internal stability and our brotherly relations with the Arabs.”
Observers believe that Saudi Arabia ha been supportive of Saad Hariri as it was with his father Rafik in its bid to grow its influence in Lebanon. It is also understood that US, Israel and Saudi Arabia were against growing Iranian influence in the region especially in Lebanon because of substantive presence of Hezbollah.