Lebanon’s Hariri says will continue talks with Hezbollah

Former Lebanese Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri says he is prepared to keep domestic dialogue with the Hezbollah resistance movement, after the group was designated a terrorist organization by the [Persian] Gulf Cooperation Council [(P)GCC].

Hariri made the remarks during a news conference on Wednesday in the Lebanese capital, Beirut.

He did not make any comments regarding the council’s decision to list the resistance group as terrorist, but said he aimed to continue meetings with Hezbollah “to avoid sedition” in Lebanon.

Hezbollah, a key political and military force in Lebanon, has been fighting Daesh terrorists operating in Syria. The group has also been fighting the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories.

The recent move by the (P)GCC, which comprises Saudi Arabia, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Oman, Bahrain, and Kuwait, comes weeks after Riyadh announced that it was cutting USD 4 billion in aid to Lebanese security forces.

The aid was cut after Lebanon failed to follow Riyadh’s lead in endorsing joint anti-Iran statements at separate meetings held in Cairo and Jeddah.

Following the move, Hezbollah’s Secretary General Seyyed Hassan Nasrallah accused Saudi Arabia of seeking to instigate a sectarian strife among Muslims.

Lebanon has been struggling to form a government for nearly two years. Many believe Hariri, a Sunni Muslim, could return as prime minister under a deal with Sleiman Frangieh, a Christian politician, becoming president.

In 2014, Hariri, leader of the country’s al-Mustaqbal Movement, said his party was prepared to form a national unity government with Hezbollah in order to resolve the country’s political deadlock to elect a president and form a government.


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