Hariri will continue as PM, says Lebanese president

Rome: The political situation in Lebanon will return to normal within days and Saad Hariri will continue as prime minister, its president told an Italian daily.

Political discussions have ended and there is broad agreement, Lebanese President Michel Aoun told La Stampa ahead of his visit to Rome.

Last week, Hariri hinted at positive changes while participating at a function in Beirut.

His sudden resignation on November 4 while visiting Saudi Arabia followed by his tirade against Iran and Hezbollah, which is his government’s coalition partner, had plunged Lebanon into a political crisis.

But Beirut refused to accept Hariri’s resignation from Saudi Arabia. It believed Riyadh only forced Hariri to send the resignation after detaining him there against his will.

In his interview, Aoun reaffirmed that Hariri “quit” under duress.

Amid the political instability in Lebanon, it was even feared that neighbours Saudi Arabia and Iran may use it as a new ground for their proxy wars.

In his interview, Aoun thanked the world for supporting his country and pressuring Saudi Arabia to allow Hariri to return home on November 22.

Hezbollah may be a terrorist organisation for the US and EU. But for Lebanon, it is a defence force, a coalition partner, he said.