Hariri warns against Hezbollah's role in local conflicts

Lebanese Prime Minister fears Hezbollah's military role in regional conflicts will end up costing his country.

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Ben Ariel,

Saad Hariri
Saad Hariri
Reuters

Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri on Thursday expressed fear that Hezbollah's military role in regional conflicts will end up costing his country dearly, The Associated Press reported.

At the same time, Hariri also stressed he was optimistic that a way to end the political paralysis gripping Lebanon following his November 4 resignation is being worked out.

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 of Hezbollah and its Iranian patron on Lebanon and the area.

Upon his return home, Hariri announced he was putting his decision to resign on hold ahead of negotiations.

On Wednesday, he indicated he might withdraw his resignation next week, saying matters were “positive” and he would rescind his decision if they remained so.

It is unclear what, if any, concessions Hezbollah would offer to ensure that Hariri remain in office, though Hezbollah officials have said they are keen on finding a political solution to the crisis.

On Thursday, Hariri said his resignation was meant to let the world know that Lebanon cannot tolerate Hezbollah's meddling in the affairs of Gulf countries - a reference to Yemen, where the kingdom is fighting Shiite rebels.

Hezbollah, an Iran ally, denies having a military role in Yemen though it openly fights on the side of Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad in Syria's civil war. Saudi Arabia backs the opposition trying to unseat Assad.

Hariri spoke to the French magazine Paris Mach.

"I wanted the world to understand that Lebanon can no longer tolerate the interferences of a party like Hezbollah in the affairs of the Gulf countries, where 300,000 Lebanese live," Hariri said, according to AP. "We must not pay for the actions of Hezbollah."

He hinted that there were no plans to discuss the disarming of Hezbollah, saying the group has not used its weapons on Lebanese soil.








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