Hariri Tells Joyous Supporters Celebrating His Return 'I Will Stay'إقرأ هذا الخبر بالعربية
Prime Minister Saad Hariri, who returned back to Beirut Tuesday after a mysterious saga that saw his shock resignation in Saudi Arabia, told thousands of supporters rallying near his Center House in Downtown Beirut on Wednesday that he was staying.
"I'm staying with you... we're continuing together, to be the first line of defense for Lebanon and its stability," he told a large crowd gathered in front of his home.
Thousands of Hariri supporters flocked to the Center House on Wednesday celebrating his return to Lebanon and expressing support for the Premier following a surprise resignation on November 4 from Riyadh that left the country in disarray.
Advocates of Hariri gave him a welcome and flocked from different Lebanese regions cheering and flashing banners welcoming his return and chanting to the beat of music resonating in the streets.
Hariri said Wednesday he had agreed to suspend his surprise decision to resign, at the request of President Michel Aoun, pending talks on the political situation.
The new decision came hours after the premier landed back in Lebanon for the first time since announcing his resignation in a statement from Saudi Arabia.
"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 Aoun.
"I agreed to this request."
Lebanon has been gripped by the political crisis precipitated by Hariri's resignation, including the question of whether the premier was being detained in Saudi Arabia, where he remained for two weeks after stepping down.
Aoun had refused to accept Hariri's resignation while the premier was still abroad, and even accused Riyadh of having "detained" the prime minister.
Hariri holds dual Saudi-Lebanese citizenship, and denied he was being held against his will by Riyadh, a close political ally, but accepted a French invitation to visit Paris, leaving the kingdom on November 18.