Lebanese Prime Minister resigns over fear for life

03 2016 shows Lebanon's Prime Minister Saad Hariri speaking to journalists following his nomination at the presidential palace in Baabda near Beirut

03 2016 shows Lebanon's Prime Minister Saad Hariri speaking to journalists following his nomination at the presidential palace in Baabda near Beirut

Lebanese prime minister Saad Hariri resigned from office Saturday in a surprise announcement that plunged the country's fragile politics into uncertainty.

"Hezbollah was able to impose a reality in Lebanon by force of arms, and their intervention causes us great problems with our Arab allies", he said.

Hariri blasted Iran's interference in the region, arguing that the "Islamic Republic has a desire to destroy the Arab world and has boasted of its control over the decisions of Arab capitals".

Just Friday, Hariri met with a senior Iranian official who declared after the meeting, that Iran would respect the sovereignty of Lebanon and protect Lebanese security.

In a statement, the presidential office said Aoun was informed by Hariri in a phone call of his resignation, adding that the president now awaits Hariri's return to clarify the circumstances of his resignation and proceed accordingly.

Saudis destroy Houthi missile near Riyadh's Khaled airport
The Saudi-led alliance said the strikes unleashed on Wednesday had hit a "legitimate military target" of rebels in the area. The missile was destroyed near Riyadh's King Khaled International Airport, which was functioning normally, it added.

Taking up the prime minister's office last year, Mr Hariri promised a "new era for Lebanon" after two years of political deadlock. "Despite my efforts, Iran continues to abuse Lebanon", he said.

Middle East expert Fawaz Gerges told CBC News Saturday that tensions could turn violent. "The worldwide community needs to come together and stand against this aggression", he said.

Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, the leader of Hezbollah, will address Hariri's resignation in a televised speech on Sunday, Hezbollah-affiliated media reported.

"We are living in a climate similar to the atmosphere that prevailed before the assassination of martyr Rafik al-Hariri". A UN-backed tribunal has charged five Hezbollah members over the killing. Hariri has frequently called on the group to withdraw its fighters from Syria.

"I announce my resignation as a prime minister", he said.

Aadhaar linking: SMSes from banks, telecom firms must mention deadlines, says SC
When Centre denied that such messages were being sent, Justice AK Sikri said he too gets messages asking to link Aadhaar.

In Beirut's Tarik al-Jadideh neighbourhood, a predominantly Sunni neighbourhood supportive of Hariri, residents described the shock resignation as a positive step.

Mr Hariri has been prime minister since December 2016, after previously holding the position between 2009 and 2011.

In this file photo from 2015, people stand in front of an image of Rafik al-Hariri as they mark the 10th anniversary of the former prime minister's assassination near his grave in downtown Beirut.

Earlier this week, Saudi State Minister for Gulf Affairs Thamer al-Sabhan sharply criticized Hezbollah, calling for its "toppling" and promising "astonishing developments" in the coming days during an interview with the Lebanese TV station MTV.

Rafik al-Hariri was killed by a bomb in 2005 in an attack widely blamed on Hezbollah.

New orang utan species found in Indonesia
A team of researchers has identified a previously unrecognised species of orangutan, adding an extra member to the great ape family.

"So Lebanon is back on the table as a stage for the next tug of war", she said.

Recommended News

We are pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news.
Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper.
Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.