Lebanon's PM Hariri withdraws his resignation

Lebanese President Michel Aoun talks with Prime Minister Saad Hariri during a government session

From Saudi Arabia, which he visited on November 4, Hariri announced his resignation in a televised broadcast, saying that he feared for his life and denouncing a possible assassination plot against him, which sparked a major political crisis in Lebanon.

According to media reports, the prime minister made the announcement that he was withdrawing his resignation during a council of ministers' meeting he chaired this morning at the presidential palace of Baabda.

Hariri shocked the nation with his weird resignation in a televised broadcast from Saudi Arabia last month, citing Lebanese militant group Hezbollah's meddling in regional affairs as a main reason for stepping down.

The Lebanese government said in a statement read by Hariri: "The cabinet thanks its leader [Hariri] for his position and for revoking his resignation".

Hariri said in a statement that his cabinet had reached a consensus to "exclude" itself from "any disputes, conflicts, wars, or the internal affairs of Arab states".

Hariri said he changed his mind about quitting after receiving assurances from other members of government that they would not meddle in foreign conflicts.

Hezbollah, which is backed by Iran, has come under fire in recent years from local political groups and regional powerhouses including Saudi Arabia for its involvement in Syria, where it has helped to prop up Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

Sunni Saudi Arabia and Shia Iran have always been fighting over dominance of the Middle East by supporting opposing forces in Iraq, Syria, Libya, Yemen, and Lebanon.

Aoun stressed that the country's political crisis would end within a week, and that there was "a broad agreement" among all political forces inside the country regarding Hariri's status.

The Lebanese President had said at the time Hariri was being held against his will in Riyadh, a claim Hariri denied.



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