November 16, 2017
Comments delivered by Lebanese resigned Prime Minister Saad Hariri, in an interview from Riyadh with his party’s Future TV on Sunday, were met in Beirut Monday with comfort in the Lebanese arena.
Visitors of President Michel Aoun quoted him as saying that Hariri’s statements show that the political settlement still stands and that the issue of reconsidering the prime minister’s resignation is still within his probable options.
Sources close to Aoun told Asharq Al-Awsat that the discussion of any settlement in Lebanon is “first linked to the return of Hariri.” The sources also asserted that prior to Hariri’s return to Beirut, “there is no place for any kind of discussions, neither a dialogue table nor other issues.”
On Sunday, Hariri said he may rescind his resignation if Lebanon fully commits to the disassociation policy and if interferences in regional affairs stop.
His comments open the doors to discussing a political deal that keeps Lebanon away from regional crises and places “Hezbollah’s” weapons on the table of an internal dialogue hosted by President Aoun.
Member of the Future Movement parliamentary bloc MP Okab Sakr told Asharq Al-Awsat on Monday that contrary to what the situation was before, it is now impossible to coexist with the issue of weapons.
“There is a message to Hezbollah stipulating that the party should stop meddling in the security of Arab states and that Hezbollah should explain to Iran that the party’s weapons used for threatening the Arab national security has an ended expiry date,” Sakr said.
Meanwhile, Lebanese Maronite Patriarch Bechara Rai kicked off on Monday a historic visit to Riyadh.
Rai is expected to meet with Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
At King Salman Air Base, the patriarch was received by Minister of State for Arabian Gulf Affairs Thamer Al-Sabhan, Lebanese Ambassador to Saudi Arabia Abdulsattar Issa, representative of the Royal Protocol and other senior, civil and military officials.
Asharq Al Awsat