Miqati Decides to Resign: Suleiman Suspended Request to Consult with National Dialogue Membersإقرأ هذا الخبر بالعربية
Prime Minister Najib Miqati revealed on Saturday that he has taken the decision to “no longer hang on to the premiership,” urging the formation of a national unity government.
He said: “I suspended my decision to resign at President Michel Suleiman's request.”
He made his statements after an extraordinary cabinet session held at the Baabda Palace in wake of the assassination of Internal Security Forces Intelligence Bureau chief Brigadier General Wissam al-Hasan on Friday.
The premier explained that Suleiman requested a timeframe for him to consult with members of the national dialogue table over his decision not to remain in the premiership.
Miqati told reporters: “The request for a timeframe stems from a realization that Lebanon is facing a plan to create strife in the country.”
“This is a national issue and we are keen on an preserving the nation. We do not want to leave Lebanon in a vacuum,” he declared.
“Those who have placed personal gain over national interests have met a bad fate, such as exile or assassination,” he added.
“I call on the politicians to unite, set their differences aside, and make the formation of a new government an easy task,” demanded the premier.
On Hasan's murder, he revealed that cabinet decided to refer the case to the judicial council.
He also demanded that the Telecommunications Minister hand over the telecom data in the case, dating back to September 19, to the investigation.
“I do not want to jump to conclusions in the case, but we cannot separate Hasan's murder to that of the arrest of former Minister Michel Samaha,” Miqati noted.
Samaha was arrested in August on charges of forming a criminal gang on Lebanon aimed at carrying out attacks in the country at Syria's behest.
Hasan played a key role in making the discovery.
“I have never felt that Hasan was aligned with any political camp,” added the premier.
“I stress that the investigations must take their course until the truth is revealed,” said Miqati.
Earlier and at the start of the extraordinary cabinet session, Suleiman urged all sides in Lebanon to exercise restraint in the wake of Hasan's assassination.
He said that he will resume contacts with the members of the national dialogue in order to hold a session as soon as possible.
The president called on the security agencies to unite and cooperate in order to protect Lebanon from any threat.
Suleiman said of Hasan: “He played a major role in uncovering espionage and terrorist cells since 2006.”
“He also played a role in uncovering a crime that was directed against the whole of Lebanon and its unity,” he stated indirectly referring to Hasan's discovery Samaha's plot.
The next national dialogue session is scheduled for November 12.
Hasan was killed on Friday in a car bomb in the Ashrafiyeh district in Beirut.
Conflicting reports emerged over the number of dead in the blast with some sides putting the figure at three and others at eight.
At least a hundred people were wounded in the explosion.
Hasan was close to former Prime Minister Saad Hariri and hostile to the regime in Syria. He had been tipped to take over as ISF head at the end of this year.
The ISF played a central role in the arrest in August of Samaha, who has close links to Damascus and was charged with planning attacks in Lebanon and transporting explosives in collaboration with Syrian security chief Maj. Gen. Ali Mamlouk.
Hasan also played a central role in the investigation in Rafik Hariri's murder in February 2005, as well as uncovering Israeli espionage networks and terrorist cells in Lebanon.