MIDDLE EAST

Hariri: Hezbollah must remain neutral to ensure Lebanon moves forward

Saad al-Hariri, who announced his resignation as Lebanon's prime minister from Saudi Arabia, is seen at the grave of his father, assassinated former Lebanese prime minister Rafik al-Hariri. (Reuters)

Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri said on Monday that Iran-backed Hezbollah must stop interfering overseas and accept a “neutral” policy to bring an end to Lebanon’s political crisis.

“I don’t want a political party in my government that interferes in Arab countries against other Arab countries,” he said in an interview recorded on Monday evening with French broadcaster CNews.

“I am waiting for the neutrality which we agreed on in the government,” he said. “We can’t say one thing and do something else.”

Hariri shocked Lebanon on Nov. 4 by resigning from his post in a statement from Saudi Arabia. He later revoked his own resignation when he returned to Beirut weeks later.

He said he was ready to stay on as prime minister if Hezbollah accepted to stick by the state policy of staying out of regional conflicts.

However, he said he would resign if Hezbollah did not keep to that, although consultations so far “had been positive”.

“Lebanon cannot resolve a question like Hezbollah which is in Syria, Iraq, everywhere because of Iran. It is a regional political solution that needs to be done,” Hariri said.

“The interference of Iran affects us all. If we want a policy that is good for the region we shouldn’t be interfering.”

Gulf monarchies have accused the Shiite group Hezbollah of supporting the Houthi militias in Yemen and of backing militants in Bahrain.

Hariri on Monday also described Saudi Arabia’s Mohammed bin Salman as “a great reformer”.

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Last Update: Monday, 27 November 2017 KSA 22:46 - GMT 19:46
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