Hariri takes a tough line on Hezbollah

Lebanese Prime Minister says he will not accept Hezbollah’s positions that “affect our Arab brothers”.

Ben Ariel,

Saad Hariri
Saad Hariri
Reuters

Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri said on Saturday that he would not accept Iran-backed Hezbollah’s positions that “affect our Arab brothers or target the security and stability of their countries”, said a statement from his press office quoted by Reuters.

The statement did not specify which countries he meant.

Hariri stepped down from his post in a televised address on November 4 from Saudi Arabia and then remained in Riyadh, citing assassination threats as well as the negative impact on Lebanon and the region of Hezbollah and its Iranian patrons.

Hariri then remained in Saudi Arabia, leading to weeks of speculation that he was being detained there against his will. He then travelled to France, Egypt and Cyprus, before arriving back in his homeland on Tuesday and announcing that he was putting his decision to resign on hold ahead of negotiations.

Hezbollah is fighting alongside Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad in Syria. Gulf monarchies have accused the group of also supporting the Houthi rebels in Yemen and of backing militants in Bahrain. Hezbollah denies any activity in Yemen or Bahrain.

On Saturday, Hariri said that his decision to wait instead of officially resigning is to give a chance to discuss and look into demands that will make Lebanon neutral and allow it to enforce its “disassociation” policy.

“Disassociation” is widely understood in Lebanon to mean its policy of staying out of regional conflicts.

Hezbollah, despite its differences with Hariri, had been a part of his government for almost a year.

After his resignation, the group’s leader, Hassan Nasrallah, accused Saudi Arabia of forcing Hariri to resign.




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