Lebanon's PM rescinds resignation as government agrees deal


Prime Minister Saad Hariri called for a Cabinet session at noon Tuesday to endorse an agreement on the country's dissociation policy toward regional conflicts, effectively turning the page on his 1-month-old resignation.

"The government has unanimously approved a statement pledging compliance with a policy of dissociation, the president's oath of office in terms of dissociating the country from regional conflicts and non-interference in the internal affairs of other countries", he added.

Hariri, who heads a coalition government that includes ministers from the Hezbollah, said all members of the government had agreed to stay out of conflicts in Arab countries.

The tension between Hariri and President Aoun also centers around their diverging stances on the militant group Hezbollah, which has supported President Bashar al-Assad in the Syrian conflict, as has Iran.

Minutes after Hariri's announcement, Paris said the Lebanese premier would attend talks Friday in France on the situation in Lebanon, which US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson will also attend.

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The cabinet reaffirmed its official policy of "disassociation" from regional rivalries.

This "disassociation" is meant to "preserve Lebanon's political and economic relations with its Arab brothers", the statement added.

Hezbollah is fighting alongside government forces in neighbouring Syria, has dispatched military commanders to Iraq, and is accused of backing Shiite rebels in Yemen.

The nature of the announcement raised suspicions that it was orchestrated by Saudi Arabia, his main backer.

He denied those claims, and after top-level French intervention returned to Beirut where he announced he had "paused" his resignation to hold consultations across the political spectrum.