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Lebanon: Prime Minister Saad Hariri has retracted his resignation

Ⓒ AFP – JOSEPH EID – | Lebanese President Michel Aoun (D) and Prime Minister Saad Hariri (G) at a Cabinet meeting on 5 December 2017 in Baabda, near Beirut

Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri returned Tuesday on his resignation, a month after the surprise decision that had taken Lebanon and the international community by surprise, according to a government statement.

“The Council of Ministers thanked the Prime Minister for withdrawing his resignation,” the government said in a statement read by Prime Minister Hariri himself.

Saad Hariri was speaking after the first meeting of the government since the resignation shock on November 4 from Ryad.

Mr. Hariri then invoked the interference of Iran and Hezbollah in the conflicts in the region, where Ryad and Tehran face each other by proxy.

Since then, the two rival camps in Lebanon – one led by Saad Hariri and supported by Ryad and the other led by Hezbollah and supported by Iran – have sought to find a compromise to avoid a new earthquake in the country. policy.

On Tuesday, the government – which both sides participate in – reaffirmed its desire to “distance itself” from the conflicts in the region.

“The Lebanese government, in all its political components, decides to distance itself from any conflict, any war and the internal affairs of the Arab countries,” said the statement read by MP Hariri.

This “distancing” aims to “preserve the political and economic relations of Lebanon with its Arab brothers”, the text continues.

Such a policy was already advocated by this government at the time of its formation in 2016.

But the active engagement of Shi’ite Hezbollah for years with the Syrian regime of Bashar al-Assad and Saudi accusations of involvement in the conflict in Yemen have undermined this policy.

The surprise resignation of Mr. Hariri and his prolonged stay in Saudi Arabia had given rise to a flood of speculation about his freedom of movement and President Michel Aoun had accused Ryad of holding Hariri “hostage”.

He returned to Lebanon three weeks later, after an “exfiltration” negotiated by France and then froze his resignation.

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