Mustaqbal Says 'Priority' is Hariri's Return, Urges No Interference in Arab Nations


Al-Mustaqbal parliamentary bloc stressed Tuesday that its “priority” is the return of Prime Minister Saad Hariri to Lebanon, as it urged an end to “interference in the internal affairs of Arab countries.”

“The priority in the bloc's discussions and meetings is the return of PM Saad Hariri to Lebanon,” said the bloc in a statement issued after its weekly meeting.

“The bloc and the Lebanese people are waiting for him to contribute to regularizing things in Lebanon and restoring balance at the internal and external levels, and so that he can achieve a new beginning towards promising horizons that achieve the interest of all Lebanese,” Mustaqbal added.

Moreover, the bloc underlined “the importance of restoring consideration and respect for the Constitution, the Taef Accord and the ministerial Policy Statement that stipulated dissociating Lebanon from the region's conflicts and which also calls for refraining from interference in the internal affairs of Arab countries.”

Mustaqbal also emphasized that the Lebanese state “should extend its authority over its entire territory,” underscoring the need to “abide by U.N. resolutions, topped by Resolution 1701, whose all stipulations should be implemented.”

“The state and its legitimate security forces should have the exclusive authority and right to protect the Lebanese and preserve their security and safety,” the bloc added.

Hariri tweeted earlier on Tuesday that he is “doing very well” and that he will return from Saudi Arabia to Lebanon within days.

In his first TV interview since he announced a surprise resignation from Riyadh on November 4, Hariri said Sunday he will return to Lebanon to seek a new settlement with President Michel Aoun and Iran-backed Hizbullah.

Hariri, looking downcast and tired, denied he was being held against his will in the kingdom and said he was compelled to resign to save Lebanon from imminent dangers, which he didn't specify.

He held back tears at one point and repeated several times that he resigned to create a "positive shock" and draw attention to the danger of siding with Iran in regional conflicts.

Hariri sounded less belligerent in Sunday's interview than he did during the resignation announcement.

A political crisis has gripped Lebanon since Hariri read his televised resignation from Saudi Arabia in which he accused Iran of meddling in Lebanon in a vicious tirade that was uncharacteristic of the usually soft-spoken premier.

Aoun and other Lebanese officials have refused to accept Hariri's resignation until he returns to the country.

Lebanese officials have insisted the resignation was forced by Hariri's Saudi patrons and that he is being kept in the kingdom against his will. Hariri denied this on Sunday, stressing that he is “free.”