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Lebanon's President Michel Aoun is pictured at the Presidential Palace in Baabda, Lebanon April 12, 2017. Dalati Nohra/Handout via Reuters
Lebanon’s President Michel Aoun is pictured at the Presidential Palace in Baabda, Lebanon April 12, 2017. Dalati Nohra/Handout via Reuters

President Michel Aoun on  announced  on Saturday the postponement of his Sunday’s visit to Kuwait and called for preserving national unity and the country’s security and stability

This comes  after  Prime Minister Saad Hariri’s shock resignation.

A statement issued by the Presidency said Aoun held a series of contacts with state officials and political and religious leaders, focusing on “the importance of preserving national unity and the atmosphere of security and political stability as well as protecting the achievements that have been made in the past year.”

“The threats that Lebanon is facing, especially from Israel, require the Lebanese to stand shoulder-to-shoulder to confront them,” Aoun added.

Pan-Arab television channel al-Arabiya al-Hadath said on Saturday an assassination plot was foiled against   Hariri in Beirut days ago, citing an unnamed source.

Announcing his shock resignation earlier in the day, Hariri said he was stepping down in protest at Iran’s interference in his country and feared he would be assassinated like his father 12 years ago.

 “Lebanon is living an atmosphere similar to the one that preceded the assassination of his father former PM Rafik Hariri.”

Hariri also lashed out against Hezbollah, the Lebanese militant group which plays a major role in the country’s politics and is strongly supported by Iran.

“I have sensed covert plots to target my life,” Hariri added.

Hariri’s resignation comes a day after he met at his office in downtown Beirut  Ayatollah Ali Khamanei’s  senior adviser of  international affairs Ali Akbar Velayati, who is wanted in Argentina over  the 1994  deadly bombing of a Jewish center in Buenos Aires .  Argentina issued twice extradition warrants one in July last year  when he was visiting Malaysia and one in October last year when he was visiting Iraq.

The president, a key ally of Hezbollah  also instructed the chiefs of security agencies to “take the necessary measures to preserve security and stability.”

“The threats that Lebanon is facing, especially from Israel, require the Lebanese to stand shoulder-to-shoulder to confront them,” Aoun added.

According to the Presidency’s statement, Aoun held phone talks with Speaker Nabih Berri and with the leaders and representatives of the parties that are part of the government — Walid Jumblat, Suleiman Franjieh, Asaad Hardan, Hagop Pakradounian, Mohammed Raad and Samir Geagea.

He also called Maronite Patriarch Beshara al-Rai, Grand Mufti Sheikh Abdul Latif Daryan, Shiite mufti Sheikh Ahmed Qabalan, Finance Minister Ali Hassan Khalil, Central Bank Governor Riad Salameh, Association of Banks in Lebanon chief Joseph Torbey, Interior Minister Nouhad al-Mashnouq, Justice Minister Salim Jreissati and Defense Minister Yaacoub Sarraf.

Hariri said  that he was stepping down in protest at Iran’s interference in his country and feared he would be assassinated like his father 12 years ago.

Lebanese expert on Iran Khattar Abou Diab thinks neither president Aoun nor Hezbollah honored their part of the bargain that led to the consensus behind the formation of the Lebanese cabinet last year

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