Lebanese PM’s brother breaks silence

Lebanese PM’s brother breaks silence
Feb. 19, 2005 file photo: Bahaa Hariri, right, and Saad Hariri. (AP)
Updated 15 November 2017

Lebanese PM’s brother breaks silence

Lebanese PM’s brother breaks silence

BEIRUT: Prime Minister Saad Hariri’s older brother broke his silence Wednesday over the premier’s mysterious resignation, saying he supports his brother’s decision to step down over the “growing demands and actions of Hezbollah.”
In his first public statement, sent to The Associated Press, Bahaa Hariri blasted Iran and accused its militant Lebanese proxy of seeking “to take control of Lebanon.” He also expressed gratitude to Saudi Arabia for “decades of support” for Lebanon’s national institutions.
Bahaa Hariri’s name has been mentioned in Lebanese media reports as a possible candidate to replace his brother, who announced his resignation from the Saudi capital on Nov. 4.
In a follow-up phone call from Monaco with the AP, Bahaa Hariri declined to comment further.
Saad Hariri, who headed a year-old coalition government that included Hezbollah, cited Iran and Hezbollah’s meddling in the region for his decision to step down. He has not returned to Lebanon since, and the Lebanese president has refused to accept his resignation before he returns to the country to explain the circumstances of his decision.
“I support my brother Saad’s decision to resign as prime minister of Lebanon in the face of the growing demands and actions of Hezbollah, Iran’s surrogate party, in Lebanon,” the statement by Bahaa Hariri said.
It said the Hariri family has always stood for the principles that make Lebanon unique in the world, including its mosaic of different confessions and political backgrounds.
“Only a pernicious outside actor, such as Iran and its surrogate, Hezbollah, can upset the balance as this group now seeks to take control of Lebanon.”