Hariri says dialogue only solution for Lebanon

Hariri said he would support President Michel Suleiman's efforts to agree a new government

Hariri says dialogue only solution for Lebanon

Caretaker Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri said on Friday that Lebanon's rival political factions had no alternative to dialogue after Hezbollah and its allies brought down his government.

In his first public reaction to the collapse of the government on Wednesday, Hariri said he would support President Michel Suleiman's efforts to agree a new government but did not specify if he would be a candidate to lead it.

"There is no alternative for all of us to dialogue, and no side in Lebanon will be able to eliminate the other," Hariri said after talks with Suleiman at the president's office.

Hariri described the resignation of 11 ministers, which brought his government down, as an "unprecedented" move in Lebanese politics.

His government was toppled over a rift with Hezbollah about expected indictments by a U.S and U.N.-backed tribunal investigating, that plagued by allegations of CIA links, the 2005 killing of his father, statesman Rafik al-Hariri.

Tribunal pressure

The tribunal said to accuse Hezbollah members over the 2005 killing, although at the beginning the target was Syria. Hezbollah has denied involvement and called for Lebanon to withdraw all support for the tribunal.

Hariri has rejected those demands, and U.S. officials have said the tribunal's work must continue. Sources said on Friday that the tribunal prosecutor will send a draft indictment to the pre-trial judge "imminently".

"Everybody should know that I have never sought power at any price, and that between power and the dignity of my people, I choose the dignity of Lebanon and the Lebanese," Hariri said.

"I will work to the maximum extent with the president to (help) form a new government that commits to the requirements of national consensus," Hariri added.

Meetings in Turkey and France

Hariri was speaking after returning from an international tour including the United States, France and Turkey.

Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan told reporters after receiving Hariri that his country was thinking of organising a series of meetings attended by the United States, France, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Syria, Lebanon and Egypt, to tackle Lebanon's crisis.

Analysts have played down the prospect of open armed conflict between Hezbollah and Hariri, but street protests, skirmishes or even a return to the bombings and political killings that followed the 2005 attack could not be ruled out.



Last Mod: 15 Ocak 2011, 11:39
Add Comment