Hariri Says Will Return to Lebanon 'Very Soon', May Revoke Resignation

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Hariri Says Will Return to Lebanon 'Very Soon', May Revoke Resignation

Prime Minister Saad Hariri on Sunday assured that he will return to Lebanon "very soon", saying that he may reconsider his resignation if everyone in Lebanon pledges to abide by the dissociation policy.

"A commitment from all factions in Lebanon to dissociate itself from regional conflicts would be enough," Hariri said in first televised interview since his abrupt resignation.

"My resignation serves Lebanon's best interest," he stressed, saying that he wanted to create a "positive shock" through his resignation and the way it happened.

"I totally understand that I have to submit my resignation in person. I will return to Lebanon soon to do that," he noted. "President Aoun is committed to the Constitution. Thus, he is right about not accepting my resignation given that it is my constitutional duty to submit it to him in person."

"President Aoun has treated me like a son. I promise him that I will come back and discuss everything with him."

Hariri said that he is still proud of the political settlement he made one year ago, noting that he hasn't backed down on it.

"However, in order for this settlement to succeed, we must abide by the dissociation policy and keep the country neutral," he added.

Hariri said he has always prioritized Lebanon's interest, arguing that he accepted the political settlement although he was aware that it would jeopardize his popularity.

"When I return, there will be an in-depth dialogue with President Aoun on how we can continue the settlement," he stated, saying that he's ready for "negotiations" with all Lebanese factions once he officially submits his resignation in Lebanon.

Hariri stressed that he was not seeking enmity with any faction in Lebanon, assuring that he was not against Hezbollah as a political party.

"But this doesn't mean we allow it to destroy Lebanon and to disrupt its ties with Arab countries," he said. "

Hezbollah’s involvement in Yemen and repeated threats to Saudi Arabia prompted the Kingdom to change its stance on Lebanon."

"We cannot continue like this in Lebanon, having and a political faction taking orders from Iran," Hariri added, deeming Iran's interference in the Arab World as unacceptable.

"Am I not responsible for the safety of the Lebanese living in the Gulf, Europe, or anywhere else in the world? Lets not get in between Iran and others."

Hariri admitted that the issue of Hezbollah's arms is regional, rather than just a Lebanese matter, saying that an agreement can be reached on the party's arsenal if a Saudi-Iranian dialogue is launched."Hezbollah's arms is an issue that should be brought up for discussion in Lebanon. President Aoun, not me, must take the initiative and put it on the table."

Hariri denied claims that he has been placed under house arrest, affirming that he is totally free in Saudi Arabia.

"I am free here. If I want to travel tomorrow, I will."

"I will return to Beirut within days after making the necessary security arrangements," he said, reiterating that there have been threats to his life as "the Syrian regime and a lot of parties do not want Saad Hariri alive".

"I do not care about my own life, as I am ready to sacrifice it. Nonetheless, I am doing what is needed to safeguard it as much as possible because I do not want my children to live the same experience when I lost my father."

"I am not communicating much with people because I am in a period of retrospection."
Hariri declined to comment on the recent arrests made in Saudi Arabia as part of an anti-corruption crackdown, deeming this issue as an internal affair.

He, however, stressed that the timing of his resignation and the Saudi arrests is a mere coincidence, refuting speculations of his involvement as "fantasies".

"Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed shows me a lot of respect. There are things we agree on and some things we don't."









Source: Kataeb.org