Friday, 17 November, 2017

Hezbollah says Saudi Arabia forced Lebanese PM to quit

Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri Announces Sudden Resignation - Reports Lebanese PM resigns suddenly, fearing for his life
Wilma Wheeler | 06 November, 2017, 01:06

"Hariri, who had just came back from his trip to Saudi Arabia, held talks with the Iranian envoy in Beirut and immediately left the Lebanese capital for Riyadh to announce his resignation through Saudi media", the source said.

Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, the leader of Iran-backed Hezbollah, urged Lebanese citizens against any political escalation in response to Hariri's surprise declaration on Saturday, which he made from Saudi Arabia.

The 47-year-old Sunni politician's resignation comes less than a year after his government, to which Hezbollah's political wing belongs, was formed. In a statement, the presidential office said Aoun was informed by Hariri in a phone call of his resignation, adding that the president now awaits Hariri's return to clarify the circumstances of his resignation and proceed accordingly.

"The sudden resignation of Mr. Hariri and his statement in another country is not only surprising and regrettable but is also an indication of his playing a game designed by those who want ill for the region, and the victor of this game is not Arabic or Muslim countries but the Zionists", Qassemi said. Hariri cited threats on his life and Iran and its proxy Hezbollah's vast influence in Lebanon in his decision to resign.

Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has tightened his grip on power through an anti-corruption purge by arresting royals, ministers and investors including billionaire Alwaleed bin Talal, one of the kingdom's most prominent businessmen.

The country's political divisions led to the assassination of Hariri's father Rafik in 2005.

In Lebanon's sectarian system the president must be a Maronite Catholic, the prime minister a Sunni and the speaker of parliament a Shia.

Having Lebanon plunged in chaos and instability can only exacerbate an already messy regional scene. The report said due to the "serious" security threats against him, Hariri would not likely return to Lebanon.

Earlier this week, Saudi State Minister for Gulf Affairs Thamer al-Sabhan sharply criticized Hezbollah, calling for its "toppling" and promising "astonishing developments" in the coming days during an interview with the Lebanese TV station MTV.

Ghasemi dismissed Hariri's "baseless accusations", which he said indicate that "a new scenario" for the region was being drawn.

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