Hariri’s Resignation Dictated by Saudi Arabia: Hezbollah Chief

Sayyid Hassan Nasrallah

The Secretary General of the Lebanese Resistance Movement Hezbollah Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah on Sunday raised a number of questions regarding Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri’s surprise resignation announced from the Saudi capital, Riyadh.

In a televised speech aired on Al-Manar TV, Nasrallah stressed that all circumstances surrounding Hariri’s resignation prove that the move was a pure Saudi decision and that the Lebanese PM was forced to make such announcement.

The way he declared his resignation violates Lebanon’s sovereignty and harms Hariri’s dignity, Nasrallah said, calling for calm until more details are known about the issue.

Nasrallah further noted that Hezbollah is keen to preserve Lebanon’s national security and stability. He also called on all Lebanese political factions and media outlets to behave with high responsibility until Hariri says whether he will come back to Lebanon.

Meanwhile, the Hezbollah chief assured the Lebanese nation and dismissed rumours regarding possible Israeli or even Saudi aggression on Lebanon.

Nasrallah said that Hariri’s resignation was a surprise one, noting that Hariri had earlier assured the ministers in the Lebanese cabinet that the situation was good and that Saudis want stability in Lebanon.

The Hezbollah chief, however, pointed to threats made by a Saudi minister earlier last week, who threatened to “curb” Hezbollah and called for “confronting” the Lebanese resistance movement.

He further noted that Hariri’s resignation was exclusively reported by Saudi-owned Al-Arabiya news network in a recorded video.

“Up till now, nobody knows what really happened. We, the Lebanese know each side’s rhetoric, and the statement read by Hariri in the video represents the Saudi rhetoric and not that of Hariri.”

“We believe that the government had the ability to continue and to hold elections,” he said, noting that Saudis stood in the way to do so.

“It was more appropriate that PM Hariri would return to Lebanon and announce his resignation to the President (Michel Aoun).”

“We have to know the reasons behind the resignation in Saudi Arabia,” Hezbollah chief said, referring to recent purge which took place late Saturday, when dozens of princes including ministers and high-ranking figures were detained in Saudi Arabia in a move widely seen as clearing the way for Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to take office from his father King Salman.

Meanwhile, Nasrallah wondered if Riyadh was not satisfied with Hariri and wanted to replace him by one of his Sunni rivals.

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