In return to Lebanon, Prime Minister Saad Hariri delays resignation


( In his latest surprise move, Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri said that he is delaying his resignation. On Wednesday, Hariri returned to Lebanon following weeks of speculation over his whereabouts. 

Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri. Credit: U.S. State Department.

“Today I presented my resignation to his excellency the president (Michel Aoun), and he asked me to temporarily suspend submitting it and to put it on hold ahead of further consultations on the reasons for it,” Hariri said during Lebanon’s Independence Day celebrations.

“Our nation today needs at this sensitive time exceptional efforts from everyone to protect it against danger….We must dissociate from wars, external struggles and regional conflicts,” he said, in an apparent reference to the Lebanese terror group Hezbollah’s involvement in Syria.

Hariri originally announced his unexpected resignation on Nov. 4 during a trip to Saudi Arabia, citing Hezbollah and Iran for threatening his life and the stability of Lebanon. Yet it quickly became unclear whether or not the Saudis forced Hariri to resign and were holding him under house arrest. 

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said at the time that Hariri’s resignation should serve as “a wake-up call to the international community to take action against the Iranian aggression that is trying to turn Syria into a second Lebanon.”

At the same time, Hariri’s resignation and disappearance came amid growing tensions between Iran and Saudi Arabia, following a rocket attack by Iranian-backed rebels in Yemen on the Saudi capital of Riyadh.

Posted on November 22, 2017 .