Lebanon’s Prime Minister Saad Hariri has reversed his decision to resign – for now at least until further talks are held.
He announced the move on his return to his Beirut residence on Wednesday. It comes nearly three weeks after he surprisingly stepped down citing fears his life was in danger.
“We are staying together and continuing together in order to defend Lebanon and its stability and the Arab nature of Lebanon,” Hariri told the throng.
هذه لحظة لا يمكن أن أنساها. هذه لحظة اللقاء مع الأحباب، مع الرفاق، مع الأهل الحقيقيين. هذه لحظة الوفاء معكم أنتم الذين تعلّمون العالم الوفاء. هذه لحظة الصدق معكم أنتم الذين تعلّمون العالم الصدق. هذه لحظة للتاريخ وللجغرافيا، ولمن له عيون ترى فليرى ومن له أذنان تسمع فليسمع. pic.twitter.com/rH3HKfM0VV— Saad Hariri (@saadhariri) November 22, 2017
Despite the prospect of a lengthy political crisis over who wields power, thousands of Hariri supporters greeted the news with joy.
One demonstrator said: “Hariri brings unity to people, he brings unity to people, Christians and Muslims. He is a good person and he will make Lebanon better.”
“We want Saad. We don’t want Saad to leave, because we love him. He’s our Sunni leader. If he goes, Lebanon will go to ruin. We want only Saad,” explained another supporter.
Hariri gave no details about his next steps, leaving the country to ponder on whether he truly intends to remain as prime minister until the next election, or if he’ll seek a deal with Saudi Arabia and Iran; the two powerful states vying for greater influence over Lebanon.