Lebanese President Calls for National Unity after Hariri Resignation

Lebanese President Michel Aoun has appealed for national unity as the Middle Eastern nation is suffering from the aftershocks of Prime Minister Saad Hariri’s sudden announcement resignation.

According to a statement released by presidential office on Monday, Aoun made the comment at a meeting of ministers and top security officials at Baabda Palace earlier in the day, saying he had told them that political leaders had been responsive to calls for calm.

Aoun “stressed that security, economic, financial, and political stability is a red line,” Justice Minister Salim Jreissati said after the meeting.

 The development came as 47-year-old Hariri, who reached an agreement with political factions in Lebanon in 2016 to become prime minister, announced his unexpected resignation through a televised statement from Saudi Arabia on Saturday, citing numerous reasons, including fears for his life.

Hariri also accused Iran and the Hezbollah resistance movement of interfering in internal affairs of Arab countries. His decision came less than a month after Hariri announced plans to join a coalition government with Hezbollah.

Elsewhere in his remarks on Monday, Jreissati said that the Lebanese president “is waiting for Hariri’s return to hear from him personally. This indicates a sovereign vision... and that the resignation must be voluntary in every sense,” signaling that the Lebanese government regards the sudden move as involuntary.

Aoun also planned to meet the finance minister and central bank governor later in the day. The central bank has sought to calm fears that the current political turmoil would hit Lebanon’s already vulnerable economy.

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