Lebanese prime minister Saad Al Hariri resigns, saying his life in danger

World Saturday 04/November/2017 15:48 PM
By: Times News Service
Lebanese prime minister Saad Al Hariri resigns, saying his life in danger

Beirut: Lebanon's prime minister Saad Al Hariri resigned on Saturday, citing an assassination plot against him.
His resignation shatters a coalition government formed last year after years of political deadlock.
Hariri's coalition, which took office last year, grouped nearly all of Lebanon's main political parties, including the his Future Movement and Hezbollah.
"We are living in a climate similar to the atmosphere that prevailed before the assassination of (his father the late prime minister) martyr Rafik Al Hariri. I have sensed what is being plotted covertly to target my life," Hariri said.
Rafik Al Hariri was killed in a 2005 Beirut waterfront bomb attack that also killed 21 other people, shaking the country and pushing his son Saad into politics.
President Michel Aoun's office said Hariri had called him from "outside Lebanon" to inform him of his resignation.
Hariri flew to Saudi Arabia on Friday after a meeting in Beirut with Ali Akbar Velayati, the top adviser to Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. Afterwards, Velayati described Hariri's coalition as "a victory" and "great success".
A U.N.-backed tribunal charged five Hezbollah members over Rafik Al Hariri's killing. Their trial in absentia at the Hague began in January 2014 and Hezbollah and the Syrian government, have both denied any involvement in the killing.
In his statement, Hariri said Lebanon would "rise as it had done in the past".
Hariri became premier late last year after a political deal that also brought Aoun, a Hezbollah ally, to office as president.
Hariri said the Lebanese people were suffering from interventions, both internally and at the level of their relationships with other Arab countries.
Hariri has visited Saudi Arabia, twice in the past week, meeting Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and other senior officials.