On Lebanon PM Hariri’s resignation

On Lebanon PM Hariri’s resignation

Nov 10, 2017

BEIRUT: Following the sudden resignation of Prime Minister Saad Hariri, “there must be vigilance and full awareness against any sabotage plot or scheme aimed at undermining stability in the country,” said Maronite Patriarch Bechara Boutros Rai.

This is how the Maronite Patriarch voiced his regret over Prime Minister Saad Hariri’s shock resignation while on a visit to Saudi Arabia. The Maronite Patriarch warned of the destabilising effects that this choice might have on the fragile national balance.

In his homily on Sunday November 5, the Primate of the Maronite Church invoked everyone to support the appeal launched by Lebanese Christian President Michel Aoun to protect and strengthen national unity, show patience and discernment in the choices to prevent the Country of Cedars from sinking into the spiral of conflict which continues to torment the Middle Eastern countries.

“Lebanon,” added Patriarch Rai during the homily, “should not be dragged into regional or international axes that do not befit its nature, values and role as an element of cooperation, stability and coexistence in its Middle Eastern region.”

Lebanese Premier Saad Hariri announced his surprising resignation on Saturday November 4, while on a visit — for the second time in five days — to Saudi Arabia. The resignation announcement was given by the same Lebanese Sunni leader during a speech broadcasted from al-Arabiya satellite TV. In his speech, Hariri harshly attacked the Lebanese Hezbollah Shiite movement-linked to Iran — accusing him of “targeting his weapons” against the inhabitants of Yemen, Syria and Lebanon, and highlighted the fear of threats to his life.

Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah responded to allegations claiming that the resignation of Sunni Hariri was an “imposed” decision by Saudi Arabia, and that the resigning Premier’s speech “was written by the Saudis.”

A few days before the new Lebanese crisis, the official invitation to visit Saudi Arabia was delivered to Maronite Patriarch Bechara Boutros Rai by Walid Bukhari, Saudi Chargé d’affaires. The visit to Saudi Arabia — said Bukhari himself — would have taken place in the coming weeks and Patriarch Rai would have met King Salman and Crown Prince Mohamed bin Salman. “A Patriarch’s trip to Saudi Arabia, at this moment, risks looking like a field choice, and this was certainly not the intention of the Patriarch,” commented Maronite priest Fr Rouphael Zgheib. -- Agenzia Fides

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