Monday 27 May 2019

Hezbollah: Lebanese PM forced to resign by Saudi Arabia

Workers hang a poster of outgoing prime minister Saad Hariri with Arabic words that read
Workers hang a poster of outgoing prime minister Saad Hariri with Arabic words that read "We are all Saad" at a seaside street in Beirut (AP)

Lebanon's Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah has said the country's prime minister is currently being detained in Saudi Arabia and that his "forced" resignation is unconstitutional because it was carried out under duress.

Mr Nasrallah said he was certain that Saad Hariri, who resigned last week in an address from Saudi Arabia, was forced to do so as part of the kingdom's policy of meddling in Lebanon's affairs.

He said Mr Hariri is being prevented by Saudi officials from returning to Lebanon, and said his detention should not be accepted.

Mr Nasrallah said war with Israel is unlikely amid the crisis facing his country.

The Hezbollah leader said the group is watching carefully for any Israeli attempts to use the crisis in Lebanon to begin hostilities. He added that Israel is cautious and unlikely to make such a move.

Mr Nasrallah is calming a jittery population following Saudi Arabia's escalation against Hezbollah's patron, Iran.

The resignation of Mr Hariri from Saudi Arabia last week was seen as a move by Riyadh to take its rivalry with Iran to Lebanon.

Many fear the escalation will pave the way for Israel to strike against Hezbollah, against which Israel has fought a number of wars.

Mr Nasrallah warned Israel against "miscalculation" or "taking advantage of the situation".

He said Israel should not think "we are troubled. No, absolutely not".

"Today, we are more confident and feeling stronger in the face of any threat," Mr Nasrallah added.


Press Association

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