Hariri to meet major powers in Paris on Friday and will hold cabinet meeting Tuesday

cabinet meeting aoun haririLebanese Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri will meet ministers from major powers in Paris on Friday to discuss ways of stabilizing his country a month after his shock resignation plunged it into political turmoil, three diplomats said.

The Arab and European diplomats said Hariri would take part in the meeting of the International Lebanon Support Group, a body that includes the five members of the U.N. Security Council – Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States.

Hariri resigned as prime minister in early November while he was in Saudi Arabia, prompting a political crisis in Lebanon and thrusting it back into a regional tussle between Riyadh and its main regional foe, Iran.

Hariri has now returned to Beirut and indicated that he might withdraw his resignation, which was never accepted by the president.

Hariri resigned as prime minister in early November while he was in Saudi Arabia, prompting a political crisis in Lebanon and thrusting it back into a regional tussle between Riyadh and its main regional foe, Iran.

Hariri has now returned to Beirut and indicated that he might withdraw his resignation, which was never accepted by the president.

Lebanese officials say Saudi Arabia had coerced Hariri, a long-time ally of the kingdom, into resigning and held him there against his will until an intervention by France led to his return to Lebanon. Saudi Arabia denies this.

A European diplomat said the aim of the meeting would be “to put pressure on the Saudis and Iranians”.

He added that the meeting would be an opportunity to reinforce that the Lebanese must stick by the state policy of “disassociation”, or keeping out of regional conflicts.

Before Hariri sets off, Lebanon’s cabinet is  set to meet for the first time since the political crisis erupted.

The Lebanon support group, launched in 2013, also includes the European Union, the Arab League and the United Nations.

Cabinet meeting set for Tuesday

Hariri decided that the Cabinet will  hold an extraordinary session  after the political parties reached an agreement on a statement that will reaffirm Lebanon’s so-called dissociation policy,  Lebanese media reports said.

According to al-Jadeed TV, the statement will mention dissociating Lebanon from “the regional conflicts.”

The meeting will be held at 12:00 pm at the presidential palace in Baabda.

According to media reports, Speaker Nabih Berri has insisted on “reassuring Saudi Arabia” in the statement.

A Lebanese MP who met Hariri on Monday said discussions among politicians were “moving positively” and would result in a “unanimous stance” by the cabinet soon.

The comments from MP Wael Abu Faour were published by Hariri’s office on Monday.

Dissociating Lebanon from “the regional conflicts, ” has been Hariri’s key demand for canceling his resignation

 

 REUTERS