Lebanon’s Prime Minister Saad Hariri says he will resign if the Hezbollah resistance movement refuses to remain “neutral.”
He said he would stay on as prime minister “if Hezbollah accepted to stick by the state policy of staying out of regional conflicts,” in remarks to French broadcaster CNews. “They know we have to remain neutral in the region,” he added.
“I don’t want a political party in my government that interferes in Arab countries against other Arab countries,” the premier said.
The resistance movement has been contributing successfully to the Syrian army’s operations against Takfiri terrorists.
On November 4, Hariri announced his resignation during a visit to Saudi Arabia, shocking the nation and plunging it into political uncertainty. He accused Iran and Hezbollah of sowing strife in the Arab world, an allegation rejected by both sides.
Shortly afterwards, President Michel Aoun accused Riyadh of kidnapping him. International heavyweights such as the European Union, France, and Germany also called on the kingdom to let him return.
The Lebanese premier then traveled back to Lebanon, and put his resignation on hold at Aoun’s request in favor of national dialog.
Sources close to him said he had been forced to step down by the kingdom over his failing to “confront” Hezbollah.
Hariri further said, “Lebanon cannot resolve a question like Hezbollah which is in Syria, Iraq, everywhere because of Iran. It is a regional political solution that needs to be done.”
Hezbollah is Lebanon’s de facto military power, and has been fighting off recurrent acts of Israeli aggression against the homeland. Riyadh, which maintains ties with Tel Aviv, however, has made no secret of its opposition to the group, and has been trying for more than a decade to weaken it.
After Hariri’s resignation, the kingdom asked its citizens to leave Lebanon. Hezbollah’s Secretary-General Seyyed Hassan Nasrallah also said Riyadh had pleaded with Tel Aviv to attack the country.
‘What happened in Riyadh stays there’
Hariri also rejected claims that he had forcibly resigned. He said he had written his resignation statement himself, countering allegations that it has been handed to him.
The prime minister was also quoted by Lebanese sources as saying that he would keep to himself what happened in Saudi Arabia, implying that he did not feel free to expose what had actually transpired in the Arab kingdom.