Asharq Al-awsat English Middle-east and International News and Opinion from Asharq Al-awsat Newspaper

Lebanon Renews 'Dissociation Policy,' Hariri Withdraws Resignation

Lebanon Renews 'Dissociation Policy,' Hariri Withdraws Resignation

Wednesday, 6 December, 2017 - 06:45
Cabinet session chaired by President Aoun at the Baabda Palace/NNA

Prime Minister Saad Hariri ended on Tuesday a phase during which he held off withdrawing his resignation, after Lebanon’s cabinet issued a short statement that underlined the country’s commitment to a dissociation policy, and which was approved by the entire forces represented in the government.

Member of the Future Movement parliamentary bloc, deputy Okab Sakr told Asharq Al-Awsat that Hariri could change his position if the Lebanese political parties fail to respect the content of the statement.

Commenting on the practical steps expected to be taken by “Hezbollah” in respect of the cabinet statement, Sakr said: “What happened in Yemen and Iraq is a first step in this direction. Syria needs some prior arrangements, but we could now say that the process has started.”

Although Tuesday’s cabinet statement did save and revive the Lebanese settlement, “Hezbollah” does not find any new components in its content but, instead, the party believes it was a repetition of the ministerial statement and the oath speech of President Michel Aoun.

On the contrary, the Future Movement considered the statement as a “big step” towards snatching from Hezbollah a position that could not be possible had Hariri not resigned.

In a statement delivered following an exceptional Cabinet meeting held Tuesday at the Baabda Palace, Hariri said the government affirmed its commitment to the dissociation policy, in words and deeds.

“We must be convinced that interfering in the internal affairs of the Gulf States has serious repercussions on our situation and our interests,” the prime minister said.

Hariri also confirmed Lebanon’s interest to protect “our historical relations with Saudi Arabia and the entire Gulf, and not to give any excuse to problem-seekers to drag Lebanon into chaos.”

Although the statement issued by the government did not touch the media attacks that accompanied Hariri’s resignation, the prime minister was keen during his comments to mention the issue.

He said that attacking the Gulf States in the media politically threatens the interests of Lebanon, especially the interests of the Lebanese working in the Gulf.

Sources close to Hezbollah asserted that the party “is only committed to the content of the statement,” adding that nothing prevents the party from announcing its own position and political opinion.

The sources added that the target of the cabinet statement is to safeguard the Lebanese settlement, adding that the party would respect the country’s commitment not to interfere in the affairs of the Arab states.

"Our comeback from Syria is linked to a political solution," the sources said.

Editor Picks