Lebanon FM says Hariri crisis an attempt to create regional chaos

Lebanon’s Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil. (AP)
Updated 17 November 2017
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Lebanon FM says Hariri crisis an attempt to create regional chaos

BEIRUT: Lebanon’s Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil said on Friday a crisis triggered by the resignation of its prime minister was part of an “attempt to create chaos in the region,” local television stations reported.
Saad Hariri quit as prime minister in a broadcast from Saudi Arabia two weeks ago, saying he feared assassination and criticizing the Saudis’ regional arch-rival Iran along with its Lebanese ally Hezbollah.
The actions of Hariri, a Sunni Muslim leader and long-time Saudi ally, plunged Lebanon into a political crisis, putting the country center stage in the rivalry.
He has yet to return to Beirut and is expected to leave Saudi Arabia this weekend for France, where he will meet with President Emmanuel Macron.
Bassil is touring European and other capitals seeking diplomatic help to end the crisis.
“We will respond and we have the full capacities to do so, but we hope it doesn’t get to that,” Bassil was quoted as saying from Moscow by Lebanese broadcasters Al-Jadeed, Al-Manar and LBC.
French officials said they did not know how long Hariri would stay before returning to Beirut, but hoped his visit would help ease the crisis by demonstrating he was not being held in Saudi Arabia.


Israeli police probe suspicious attempts to appoint 2 judges

Updated 12 min 41 sec ago
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Israeli police probe suspicious attempts to appoint 2 judges

  • Police have seized documents as part of the investigation and there was a sweeping gag order on all further details
  • Israeli media have been rife with speculation in recent days over the scope of the affair, offering only hints of high it goes

JERUSALEM (AP) — Israeli police say they are investigating allegations rocking Israel's legal system involving suspicious attempts to appoint two judges.
Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said on Wednesday the Lahav 433 investigative body is looking into "offenses of integrity" regarding attempts to appoint the two. He says police have seized documents as part of the investigation and there was a sweeping gag order on all further details.
Israeli media have been rife with speculation in recent days over the scope of the affair, offering only hints of high it goes.
The Haaretz daily has reported that Israel's attorney general recused himself from the case because of his friendship with the main suspect and that the country's justice minister and chief justice of the Supreme Court will be called to testify.