Lebanese president accepts prime minister's resignation

March 23, 2013 11:23


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BEIRUT - Lebanese President Michel Suleiman accepted the resignation of Prime Minister Najib Mikati on Saturday, local media said, paving the way for a caretaker government after a political standoff with the powerful Hezbollah movement.

Mikati's resignation could plunge Lebanon, already struggling to cope with a spillover of violence and refugees from neighboring Syria's civil war, into further turmoil and uncertainty three months ahead of a planned parliamentary election.

The resignation on Friday came after a two-day ministerial meeting remained deadlocked by a dispute with the Shi'ite group Hezbollah.

"I did not inform anyone of my decision in order to avoid any pressure from any side," he was quoted as telling President Suleiman by the local news website Naharnet.

"My decision was a personal one ... It is now important that dialogue among the Lebanese begin. I hope that the resignation will pave the way for a solution to the political deadlock in the country."

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