>Said El Hariri entered White house as PM, left to Paris as Ex-PM

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12/01/2011 Even the collapse of his government didn’t push the “former Prime Minister” Saad Hariri to return to Beirut…

Hariri, who was in Lebanon for a few hours only since the beginning of the year 2011, chose to continue his “foreign trip” after his first-ever government was toppled in an unprecedented move in Lebanon’s history after eleven ministers, including ten opposition representatives, resigned from it.

Hariri, who started his meeting with US President Barack Obama at the White House as Prime Minister, couldn’t end it with the same status. Indeed, he lost his official title during the meeting, at the end of which he found himself a “former Prime Minister.”

The two men were meeting in the Oval Office at the White House, smiling as they posed for photographers, without making any statements.

Press reports said Hariri cut short his visit to the United States on Wednesday to fly home amid a government crisis. Hariri drove to Dulles international airport immediately after talks with US President Barack Obama at the White House, a Lebanese official in Washington told Reuters news agency. The official said Hariri would likely meet Lebanese President Michel Sleiman on his return home. He added that after meeting Obama, Hariri had telephone conversations with French and Qatari officials, among others.

However, Hariri’s press office said that the former Prime Minister left Washington for Paris where he will meet with French President Nicolas Sarkozy.

The White House had announced Tuesday that Obama would meet Hariri on Wednesday to discuss, among other matters, a UN probe into his father’s murder. The US leader would meet with Hariri “to discuss US support for Lebanon’s sovereignty, independence, and stability,” White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said in a statement. “Lebanon is an important partner in US efforts to promote peace, stability, and justice in the Middle East,” he added.

In Beirut, meanwhile, Hariri’s bloc and allies found themselves perplexes following the unprecedented collapse of the government. In this context, Labor Minister Butros Harb said that the opposition ministers’ resignation from the government has placed Lebanon before a major crisis, adding that its decision “has obstructed matters in Lebanon and further complicated issues.”

Harb, who was speaking to reporters following an exceptional meeting for Hariri’s Future movement meeting, claimed that the so-called March 14 forces are open to dialogue to reach the appropriate solution to the crisis. He added that the March 14 forces are awaiting Hariri’s return from his trip in order to hold an expanded meeting for the group during which a final position will be made over the recent developments. The minister called on the opposition to assume its responsibilities in not jeopardizing the country’s stability, adding that the cabinet will continue its functioning as a caretaker government.

11 Lebanese Ministers Resign; Topple Hariri’s Government

12/01/2011

In an unprecedented move in Lebanon’s history, 11 ministers of the 30-member Cabinet resigned Wednesday, thus toppling PM Saad Hariri’s government.

The 10 opposition ministers as well as State Minister Adnan Sayyed Hussein declared withdrawal from the government and held Hariri and his bloc responsibility for the failure of the Saudi-Syria effort to defuse the crisis in Lebanon over the international tribunal into the Rafiq Hariri assassination.

Energy Minister Jibran Bassil read the opposition ministers’ statement during a press conference held at the head of the Change and Reform parliamentary bloc MP Michel Aoun’s residence in Rabiyeh.
Along with Bassil, opposition ministers include: Mohamad Fneish and Hussein Hajj Hasan (Hezbollah), Mohamad Jawad Khalife, Ali Shami and Ali Abduallah (Amal Movement), Charbel Nahhas and Fadi Abboud (Free Patriotic Movement), Abraham Dadayan (Tashnaq) and Youssef Saade (Marada).

In their statement, the opposition ministers thanked Saudi King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz and Syrian President Bashar Assad for their efforts to resolve the Lebanese crisis caused by the work of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon. They regretted, however, how some parties have missed the opportunities to prevent attempts to destabilize Lebanon and to protect the country against sedition schemes.

The opposition ministers also said in their statement that their decision came as a result of the foiled Saudi-Syrian effort caused by the other bloc’s surrender to foreign pressure, mainly American, and by ignoring the wishes and advice of both the Syrians and Saudis. “Despite the openness we have always expressed to solutions, the other bloc insisted on its strategy of obstructing, thus depriving the government from assuming its duties according to constitutional norms, also obstructing the work of the ministries,” the statement read.

“Following our last bid to resolve matters through our call for an immediate cabinet session and after our call was turned down by the other bloc, and in order to pave the way for the formation of a new government that would be able to assume its duties in the upcoming stage, we announce our resignation from the government,” the statement concluded, urging President Michel Sleiman to speed up the constitutional procedures that should be taken to form a new cabinet.

SAYYED HUSSEIN RESIGNS

For his part, State Minister Adnan Sayyed Hussein, who is politically aligned with President Sleiman, issued a statement in which he announced his resignation from the government.

“In light of political differences that have threatened the national unity government; and after the cabinet failed, especially in the few last months, in respecting the slogan of people’s priorities in the face of the economic and social pressures; and due to my status as consensual minister in the government; and in harmony with the consensus policy sponsored by President Michel Sleiman, I announce my resignation from the government,” Sayyed Hussein said in his statement.
He concluded by expressing hope a new government be formed to safeguard national unity and comprehensive stability.

Flashback:

White House: Obama to meet Hariri ‘ten minutes earlier’!

This is too funny. Would the opposition resign 20 minutes earlier so as to make the meeting between a president and a former PM?
Stay tuned!

Posted by G, Z, or B at 10:03 AM

River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian

About uprootedpalestinians

A displaced Palestinian
This entry was posted in Free Patriotic Movement, Hariri, Hezbullah, Lebanon, Marada movement, Michel Aoun, Saudia, Syria, Tribunal for Lebanon, US Foreign Policy. Bookmark the permalink.

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