Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri resigns in shocking announcement


The prime minister of Lebanon said that he fears there's a "plot to target his life", according to local media.

Lebanese Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri has resigned, saying in a televised broadcast from Saudi Arabia that he feared for his life, while also fiercely criticising Iran.

There is "no danger to the economy or pound", Khalil said.

The younger Hariri's November 2017 resignation, which came after just 11 months in power, ended his second stint as prime minister, a role set aside exclusively for members of Lebanon's Sunni community.

"Iran has a grip on the fate of the region's countries..."

"We are living in a climate similar to the atmosphere that prevailed before the assassination of martyr Rafik al-Hariri, "he said".

Born in Saudi Arabia on April 18, 1970, Saad Hariri went on to head his father's Saudi-based construction company, Saudi Oger, one of the largest companies in the Middle East.

Hezbollah members have been accused over the 2005 assassination in a massive vehicle bomb blast of Rafik Hariri, the dominant figure in Lebanon's post-war political landscape.

Jailing of Catalan politicians could lead to backlash
Earlier, Spanish justice has summoned a number of former Catalan ministers and lawmakers to appear for questioning this week. The struggle has divided Catalonia itself and caused deep resentment across the rest of Spain.

Hariri's coalition, which took office previous year, grouped almost all of Lebanon's main parties, including Hezbollah.

"The sudden resignation of Mr. Hariri and his statement in another country (Saudi Arabia) is not only "surprising" and "regrettable" but is also an indication of his playing a game designed by those who want ill for the region".

"In recent years, Hezbollah has used the power of its weapons to impose a fait accompli", he said, reading his speech from behind a desk.

In this file photo from 2015, people stand in front of an image of Rafik al-Hariri as they mark the 10th anniversary of the former prime minister's assassination near his grave in downtown Beirut.

Hezbollah has sent thousands of its fighters to Syria to shore up President Bashar al-Assad's government. "This confrontation (between Saudi Arabia and Iran) is more violent than Lebanon can stand up to", he said, warning of economic and security ramifications.

He argued it was the latest manifestation of the tug-of-war between Saudi Arabia and Iran, and called for intensifying diplomatic efforts to solve the feud.

Kamel Wazne, a Lebanese political analyst, described the resignation as "a surprise coup by all measures".

It was not immediately clear whether Hariri meant to return to Lebanon. "I thank all those who worked with me and placed their trust in me", Hariri added.