Hariri: Hezbollah must accept new power-sharing arrangement

Lebanese Prime Minister threatens to resign if Hezbollah doesn't agree to rebalance Lebanon's political configuration.

Elad Benari ,

Saad Hariri
Saad Hariri

Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri made clear Monday that he will resign if Hezbollah refuses to accept a new power-sharing arrangement for Lebanon.

Hariri made his threat in an interview with the French broadcaster CNews and was quoted by The Associated Press.

Hezbollah, which has representatives in Lebanon's parliament and is a member of Hariri’s coalition, is the focus of talks between the country's political parties on reaching an accord over representation and on limiting foreign interference in domestic politics.

Hezbollah is an opponent of Hariri's Saudi Arabia-backed Future Movement, despite being a member of Hariri's coalition government.

Hariri said on Monday that Hezbollah appeared receptive to dialogue, but stressed he would resign if the group and Iran did not agree to rebalance Lebanon's political configuration.

He did not elaborate on the new arrangement he was proposing.

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.

After his announcement, Hariri 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 and announcing that he was putting his decision to resign on hold ahead of negotiations.

Hariri has demanded that Hezbollah remove itself from regional conflicts, from Syria to Iraq and Yemen. Hezbollah denies playing a military role in Yemen but has fighters in both Iraq and Syria.

On Saturday, Hariri said he would not accept Hezbollah’s positions that “affect our Arab brothers or target the security and stability of their countries”, though he did not specify which countries he meant.

Hariri told CNews that he would be open to pushing forward elections in Lebanon, which are currently slated for May next year.