PM Hariri urges Lebanese to put country first
November 23, 2017 | 3:33 PM
by Reuters
Saad al-Hariri who suspended his decision to resign as prime minister gestures to his supporters at his home in Beirut, Lebanon November 22, 2017. Photo: Reuters

Beirut: Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri said on Thursday that the political crisis in Lebanon this month was "a wake up call" for Lebanese with different loyalties to put their country ahead of regional issues.

Hariri was referring to the crisis ignited by his decision to resign earlier this month. He announced the shock resignation from Saudi Arabia.

After returning to Lebanon this week, he shelved the decision on Wednesday at the request of President Michel Aoun.

"The period that passed was perhaps like a wake up call for all of us to look for Lebanon's interests rather than looking at problems around us," Hariri said at the Annual Arab Banking Conference in Beirut on Thursday. "The problems around us are important, but Lebanon is more important."

Hariri also reaffirmed the need for Lebanon to stick by its policy of staying out of regional conflict — "not just with words but with action as well."

"I want to stress that ... our main concern is stability, and this is what we'll be working on," he said.

Hariri said on Wednesday his decision to postpone resigning would lead to "a responsible dialogue ... that deals with divisive issues and their repercussions on Lebanon's relations with Arab brothers."

Hariri returned to Lebanon after an intervention by France.

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