Officials React to Hariri's 'Surprise' Resignation

Lebanese political figures reacted on Saturday to a surprise resignation of Prime Minister Saad Hariri which he announced from Saudi Arabia citing Iranian “influence” in Lebanon and expressing fears of being assassinated.

According to a statement by the presidential press office, President Michel Aoun is waiting for Hariri's return to Beirut to inform him of the circumstances of the resignation.

Hariri had contacted Aoun and informed him of his decision.

Speaker Nabih Berri has cut short his visit to Egypt to return to Beirut following the Premier's resignation.

Progressive Socialist Party MP Walid Jumblat took to Twitter and said: “Whatever the difficulties are, sacrifice for the sake of consensus, dialogue and stability is fundamental and our existence is predestined.”

“Lebanon is too small and weak to endure the economic and political repercussions of the resignation,” lamented Jumblat.

Lebanese Forces MP Antoine Zahra said: “We have heard from Saudi authorities about intentions of some to create trouble in Lebanon.”

He expressed hopes the resignation would pave way for solving other political obstacles.

Justice Minister Salim Jreisati described the move as “confusing and suspicious in terms of time, place and content.”

For his part Mustaqbal bloc MP Moustafa Allouch explained that “Hariri's resignation came after he failed in knocking some sense into Hizbullah.”

“Hariri's resignation is very surprising and I fear that Lebanon has entered the regional conflict,” said MP Ghassan Mokhaiber.

Hariri announced his resignation Saturday, citing Iran's "grip" on the country and threats to his life.

"I announce my resignation from the post of prime minister," he said in a speech broadcast from Saudi Arabia by the Al-Arabiya news network.

"I felt what was being covertly plotted to target my life," Hariri said.

Source: Naharnet

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