Lebanon PM Hariri revokes resignation as all parties agree deal

A month after Hariri saga Saudi’s Lebanon gambit backfires

Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri has revoked his resignation following a consensus deal reached with rival political parties, marking an end to one of the most weird interludes in Lebanese politics.

Tuesday's Cabinet meeting, attended by Hariri, endorsed a statement that calls on rival Lebanese groups to distance themselves from regional conflicts and the internal affairs of Arab countries.

That was one of Hariri's conditions to stay in office, which he resigned on November 4 from Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, and caused a crisis during the 18 days he remained absent from the post.

Mr Hariri had accused coalition partner Hezbollah and Iran of spreading strife across the region.

Hariri's resignation within Saudi Arabia came with Saudis saying Lebanon had "declared war", and demanding that Hezbollah be totally excluded from the nation's political process.

Hariri, a wealthy Sunni businessman with long ties to the kingdom, had denounced Iran during his resignation speech and said he was outside Lebanon because he feared for his family's safety.

Media captionWhat happened to Lebanese PM Saad Hariri?

Lebanese officials said Saudi Arabia had coerced Hariri, a long-time Saudi ally, into resigning and put him under effective house arrest until an intervention by France led to his return to Lebanon.

It is not clear what, if anything, the agreement entails beyond a supposed commitment to tone down inflammatory rhetoric toward regional states from all sides.

Mr Hariri has complained about the Shiite militant Hezbollah group's meddling in regional affairs, including the affairs of Gulf countries - a reference to Yemen, where Saudi Arabia is fighting Shiite rebels supported by Iran. Despite the policy, Hezbollah is heavily involved there, sending thousands of fighters to help President Bashar al-Assad. The prince was displeased with Mr. Hariri's leadership of a government that included Hezbollah, which has continued to gain new power and weaponry while intervening in the war in neighboring Syria.

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