21:52 GMT +320 September 2019
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    Hezbollah fighter looks toward Syria while standing in the fields of the Lebanese border village of Brital, Lebanon. (File)

    Saudi FM Says Lebanon 'Will Only Survive' if Hezbollah Disarms

    © AP Photo / Bassem Mroue
    Middle East
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    Previously, Hezbollah blamed Riyadh for the political crisis in Lebanon following the shock resignation of Prime Minister Hariri, who later postponed his decision.

    Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir has stated that Lebanon "will only survive or prosper if you disarm Hezbollah."

    The statement echoes the remark by Lebanon's Prime Minister Saad Hariri, who said that he would not tolerate Iran-backed Hezbollah's positions that "affect our Arab brothers or targets the security and stability of their countries." He later reaffirmed his demand, pledging to remain prime minister in case Hezbollah "accepted to stick by the state policy of staying out of regional conflicts."

    After Hariri announced his resignation and accused Iran and the Hezbollah movement of attempting to destabilize the situation in Lebanon and the Middle East on November 4, the Shiite movement's leader Hassan Nasrallah said that Riyadh "blatantly interfered" in the country's domestic issues, adding that Hariri's "forced" decision to step down was unconstitutional because it had been done "under duress."

    READ MORE: Israel Promises Hezbollah Head Will Be 'Target for Assassination' in 'Next War'

    While Saudi authorities insisted that it was Hariri's own decision to stay in the country, the prime minister returned to Lebanon last week after his visit to France and announced his decision to "postpone" his resignation, pending talks with the rest of the Lebanese government.

    Previously, Lebanese President Michel Aoun said he would not consider the prime minister's stepping down until a personal meeting.

    Due to Lebanon's religious diversity, the country's government includes the representatives of the three main religious groups — Sunni, Shiite and Maronite Christian, with the Hezbolla being the most powerful wing of the country's executive branch.

    Related:

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    Stay Neutral or Else! Lebanese PM Hariri Issues Stern Warning to Hezbollah
    Lebanon Not to Accept Hezbollah's Stance Affecting Its Arab Allies - Hariri
    Tags:
    Hezbollah, Saad Hariri, Adel Ahmed al-Jubeir, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia
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