French President Emmanuel Macron (center) welcomes Lebanese Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri on the steps of the Elysee Palace in Paris, on November 18.
(photo credit: BENOIT TESSIER /REUTERS)
THE DRAMATIC U-turn by Lebanese Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri, withdrawing his resignation from office, left Lebanon facing an uncertain political future as the intense regional power struggle between Saudi Arabia and Iran rages on.His November 4 resignation, announced during a trip to Saudi Arabia, raised fears in Jerusalem that Israel may be drawn into a conflict if hostilities result in Lebanon. However, after returning home on No- vember 21 following brief visits to France, Egypt and Cyprus, Hariri declared that he had accepted the request from Lebanese President Michel Aoun to “suspend his res- ignation pending further consultations.” Hariri, a Sunni Muslim who holds joint Lebanese-Saudi citizenship, spoke from the Presidential Palace in Lebanon during celebrations of the country’s Independence Day. He said the country required “excep- tional effort from everyone” at this time in order to “protect it in confronting dangers and challenges.”