Lebanon PM Hariri confirms return to Lebanon in coming few days

BEIRUT, Nov. 12 (Xinhua) -- Lebanon's Prime Minister Saad Hariri confirmed on Sunday that he would return to Beirut "within the coming few days," Saudi Future TV reported.

Hariri made his first live appearance since his sudden resignation on Nov. 4 in an interview with Future TV from the Saudi capital Riyadh.

"I resigned to make a positive shock in Lebanon," he said, revealing that prior to his resignation he had discussed the threats that Lebanon was facing including the "U.S. and Arab sanctions against Lebanon."

"I was proud of the political settlement I made, but for it to succeed we need to disassociate ourselves from the regional issues," he said.

Hariri also said that Lebanese should not bear the consequences of Hezbollah's involvement in the region.

The prime minister was referring to the engagement of Hezbollah in the Syrian crisis to defend the regime of President Bashar Assad, and Saudi's accusations against the group of involvement in Yemen, Bahrain and Iraq.

However, Hariri asserted that "my security was threatened and Lebanon was threatened as well, but all I care for is the stability and safety of Lebanon".

"I personally wrote my resignation statement and my aim was to create a positive shock so we can all realize the dangers we were facing," he added.

Hariri's resignation was seen as being forced by Saudi Arabia. Lebanon's President Michel Aoun said that "any declaration that would be made by Hariri from Riyadh is subject to suspicion."

But Hariri asserted that he is "free in Saudi Arabia," pointing out that the Syrian regime and the Islamic State (IS) are serious threats against his safety.

"I will return to Lebanon very soon," the prime minister confirmed.

As for his relation with Aoun, Hariri emphasized he had "excellent relations" with Aoun and that he would have a "long discussion" with the president after his return.

"Our relation was built on sincerity and frankness and we will continue to protect Lebanon together," the prime minister added.

"I will not allow any party to launch a regional war on Lebanon's soil," he went on saying, pointing that "in the war of 2006, Saudi Arabia stood next to Lebanon and helped in the reconstruction."

"Hezbollah must realize where our national interest is," he said.

Hariri said that he did not "approve Hezbollah's involvement in the domestic affairs of other Arab countries, but we can reach a solution regarding the party's weapons today more than ever."

He said that the Lebanese government had agreed with Hezbollah to put differences aside for the sake of the country, but the disassociation issue was not respected and the positive shock that his resignation created should be "for the best of the Lebanese."

"If they want me to remain in post and take away my resignation, I am ready to do so as long as they respect the disassociation policy," he added.

[ Editor: meng ]


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