Lebanese PM Hariri rethinking decision to resign

By Sara Shayanian  |  Nov. 22, 2017 at 9:24 AM
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Nov. 22 (UPI) --

Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri said Wednesday he's rethinking his decision to resign, at the request of the country's president.

"I offered my resignation to President [Michel] Aoun and he asked me to delay presenting it, to allow for more consultations and deliberations, and I agreed to his request," Hariri said.

"I look forward to serious participation from all political powers to put Lebanon's interests over any other interests," Hariri said.

Hariri resigned on Nov. 4 while visiting Saudi Arabia amid political tensions. A long-time Saudi ally, he accused Iran-backed Hezbollah of destabilizing Lebanon and said Iran was sowing "fear and destruction" and interfering in Arab affairs.

The 47-year-old prime minister also said he feared a possible assassination attempt.

Hariri's visit to Saudi Arabia spurred questions about his decision, his return and even whether he was being held against his will.

Hariri made the decision to rethink his departure after an outpouring of support in Lebanon Wednesday and in recent days.

"This is an unforgettable moment," he said. "We are staying together to be the first line of defense for Lebanon."

Hariri accompanied Aoun at an event on Wednesday to mark Lebanon's 74th independence day.

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