Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri says he will stand with his supporters after suspending his shock resignation, which he announced in Saudi Arabia earlier this month.
“I’m staying with you. We continue together… We are the people of moderation, the people of stability. We have all come here on the Independence Day to say we have nothing more precious than our country, we have nothing but our country,” Hariri addressed his supporters, who had swarmed the streets adjacent to his house in Beirut to celebrate his return to Lebanon.
“Our principles won’t ever change, and our slogan will be: Lebanon first, Lebanon first, Lebanon first,” he concluded to the cheers of his followers.
The Lebanese prime minister arrived in Beirut late on Tuesday, more than two weeks after unexpectedly announcing he had quit his post. All political factions in Lebanon had called on him to return back home.
Top Lebanese officials and senior politicians close to Hariri had earlier said that he had been forced to resign, and that Saudi authorities were holding him captive.
Lebanese President Michel Aoun had also refused to accept Hariri’s resignation.
Hariri announced his resignation in a televised statement on November 4, citing many reasons, including the security situation in Lebanon, for his sudden decision. He also said that he sensed a plot being hatched against his life.
Hariri accused Iran and Lebanese Hezbollah resistance movement of meddling in Arab countries’ affairs; an allegation the two have repeatedly denied.
Hariri became prime minister in 2016 after serving another term between November 2009 and June 2011.