Lebanese prime minister Saad Hariri on Wednesday suspended his shock resignation delivered weeks earlier from Saudi Arabia, marking a stunning return to Beirut after weeks of speculation over his freedom of movement.
Hariri’s Nov. 4 announcement from Riyadh blindsided political allies and foes alike, and stoked regional tensions amid suggestions that he had been coerced by his Saudi allies.
Hariri spent two weeks in Riyadh following his resignation announcement, sparking frenzied speculation over whether he was being held there against his will, or even under house arrest. In an emotional interview last week, the 48-year old politician looked exhausted.
But on Wednesday, following a late night return to Beirut in time for Lebanon’s Independence Day, Hariri said that he would not be going anywhere for now.
“I presented today my resignation to President Aoun and he urged me to wait before offering it and to hold onto it for more dialogue about its reasons and political background, and I showed responsiveness,” said Hariri, speaking from the marble hallway of Beirut’s presidential palace.
(c) 2017, The Washington Post · Louisa Loveluck, Suzan Haidmous