Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri’s return to Lebanon and the series of consultative talks he has been holding with various local and international figures has created a positive atmosphere in the country, especially after he announced on Wednesday that he was suspending his resignation.
Lebanon is anticipating the outcomes of his talks, which on Friday saw him meet with Russian Ambassador Alexander Zasypkin, European Union Ambassador Christina Lassen and deputy United Nations Special Coordinator for Lebanon Philippe Lazzarini.
Zasypkin hoped after the talks that Hariri would be successful in his mission to ease tensions, saying that agreements should be reached in order to preserve the government and state institutions’ functioning.
He also hoped that the decision-making power in Lebanon would be exclusive to the country and without foreign meddling.
For her part, Lassen hoped that constructive dialogue between the political parties would focus on a shared understanding of the importance of the country’s stability, unity and sovereignty. She stressed that Lebanon’s independence and stability are a priority for the EU given the regional upheaval.
Furthermore, she voiced Europe’s commitment to seeing Lebanon stage parliamentary elections on time next year.
Hariri said that the suspension of his resignation would serve as an opportunity for all political parties to realize that Lebanon’s policy of disassociation from regional unrest is the central approach that would protect the country.
He added: “We must hold dialogue with each other in order to reach the shore of safety and preserve the security of the Lebanese people and our ties with all Arab countries that also have the right to preserve their security.”
He made his remarks after after meeting with Grand Mufti Sheikh Abdul Latif al-Daryan, who visited him at Beirut’s Center House at the head of a large clerical delegation.
“We also seek the best ties with Saudi Arabia,” stressed the PM.
“I chose to wait on tendering my resignation at the insistence of the president. I have always been clear that the disassociation policy should be translated into action. This policy should not take place at the expense of our Arab brothers, otherwise we will be forced to voice another stance,” Hariri remarked.
Mufti of Tripoli and the North Sheijk Malek al-Shaar, who was part of the clerical delegation, told al-Markazia news agency that Hariri voiced his trust in President Michel Aoun and Speaker Nabih Berri in holding consultations with concerned parties in committing to the disassociation policy.
He revealed that he received, along with several muftis and religious scholars, an invitation from Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz to travel to Saudi Arabia to perform the Umrah pilgrimage on December 13.
Aoun meanwhile declared that Lebanon had managed in the last few days to overcome the government crisis that was caused by Hariri’s surprise resignation on November 4.
Hariri announced after meeting the president on Wednesday that he would suspend his resignation pending discussions with various political powers.
“We managed in a short period of time to fortify our unity and overcome the crisis with great diplomatic efforts,” continued Aoun.
Presidential sources refused to divulge the details of the contacts that Hariri has been holding, simply saying that they are “positive” and predicting that they will not last for a long period of time.