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Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri says resignation on hold pending further negotiations

A poster in support of Hariri reading "God protect you" in Arabic [AFP]

Date of publication: 22 November, 2017

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Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri said he has discussed his resignation with President Michel Aoun, who he said has asked him to wait before submitting it.
Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri said on Wednesday he had accepted a request by the president to suspend the resignation he announced earlier this month pending consultations.

"I discussed my resignation with the president of the republic who asked me to wait before submitting it... and allow for more consultations," Hariri told reporters after meeting President Michel Aoun. "I agreed to this request."

Hours after returning to the country following a nearly three week absence, Hariri participated in Independence Day celebrations on Wednesday, his first official appearance since the sudden resignation announcement that stunned the country.

Hariri’s shock resignation was not accepted by President Michel Aoun, who said he wanted to hear from Hariri in person first.

Before attending the parade, straight upon his arrival to Lebanon’s capital city Beirut, Hariri visited the grave of his father, the late Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri.

After praying at the grave, he retired to his home in central Beirut before attending the parade.

Hariri landed at Beirut airport at around midnight on Tuesday following a tumultuous month of drama and intrigue surrounding the Lebanese heavyweight who has become at the centre of a political storm between Saudi Arabia and Iran.

His decision, he said, was based on threats to his life and the growing power of Tehran-backed Hizballah, one of Riyadh's many regional nemeses.

On his way back to Lebanon, Hariri stopped in Cyprus for talks with the country's President Nicos Anastasiades where they discussed "the latest developments in Lebanon and the region".

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