Lebanese Prime Minister Hariri Puts Resignation on Hold

A poster of resigned prime minister Saad Hariri in Lebanon
A poster of resigned Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri with Arabic that read, "We are all with you," hangs on a street in Beirut, Lebanon, Monday, Nov. 13, 2017. Cardinal Bechara el-Rai, who heads the Maronite sect, Lebanon's biggest Christian community and the Middle East's largest Catholic church, is to head to Saudi Arabia and is expected to meet with Hariri, in a visit he had planned before Hariri announced his resignation. Photo: Hassan Ammar, AP

Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri announced on Wednesday that his resignation, announced nearly three weeks ago, was put on hold to allow more political consultations to take place.

In surprise conciliatory comments from the presidential palace, Mr. Hariri said he is putting Lebanon’s interest first and is looking forward to a “real partnership with all political forces to put Lebanon’s higher interest before any other interests.”

He said he presented his resignation to President Michel Aoun at the presidential palace, but then responded to Aoun’s request to take more time for consultations, “hoping it will constitute a serious opening for a responsible dialogue.”

“Our beloved nation needs in this critical period exceptional efforts from everyone to protect it in the face of dangers and challenges,” Mr. Hariri said in a statement from the presidential palace.

He reiterated the need for Lebanon to remain neutral on regional disputes and conflicts “and all that undermines internal stability and brotherly relations with Arab brothers.”