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Hariri Sets Three Conditions to Remain in his Post

Hariri Sets Three Conditions to Remain in his Post

Thursday, 23 November, 2017 - 07:15
Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri, center, and Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades in Nicosia, Cyprus, Oct. 28, 2017. (AP)

Lebanese political parties welcomed the decision of Prime Minister Saad Hariri to suspend his resignation to allow for a round of dialogue and consultations, which President Michel Aoun is expected to launch in the coming days.


Hezbollah, for its part, said it was ready to hold dialogue, provided that the issue of the resistance arms be kept out of the negotiations agenda.


In parallel, Cyprus announced its willingness to help Lebanon defuse a possible crisis after Hariri made an unexpected visit to the island on Tuesday night.


Hariri met with Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades at Larnaca airport for about 45 minutes on Tuesday on his way back to Lebanon.


“Our common goal is to achieve stability in Lebanon and our region,” said Cypriot Government Spokesman Nikos Christodoulides.


“In this context ... the President of the Republic will put forward some initiatives specifically to support this objective: the stability of Lebanon,” he added.


Back to Beirut, sources told Asharq Al-Awsat that Hariri has set three conditions for relinquishing his decision to withdraw from the government, including the respect for the Taif Accord, the adoption of the policy of dissociation with regards to regional conflicts and the need to avoid harming Arab States.


Both Aoun and Hariri’s sources expressed their optimism that a positive outcome could be achieved and that the views of all parties would be brought closer, calling for an opportunity for consultation.


In comments to Asharq Al-Awsat, sources close to Aoun said: “After reviewing the reasons for [Hariri’s] resignation, Aoun is clearly aware of all the circumstances and will start consultations immediately to determine the mechanism to address the issue.”


As for information that indicated Aoun’s intention to call for a round of national dialogue, the sources said: “There is no clear picture so far of the form of consultations; it may be individual, bilateral or even collective. But the goal remains one.”


On the other hand, Hariri’s sources confirmed that the government would resume its work, stressing at the same time that the premier has decided to suspend his resignation from the government temporarily, after he received reassurances from Aoun about discussing his demands.


“In parallel with the political consultations that will be conducted by the President of the Republic, the Cabinet will continue to hold its meetings normally, and may set a date for a session soon,” the sources said.


Sources informed of Hezbollah’s position said that the party was satisfied with Hariri’s decision and was ready to engage in dialogue to dissociate Lebanon from political conflicts, provided that the resistance arms “remain outside this equation and are only linked to the defense strategy.”

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