The parliamentary bloc of Hezbollah has called on Saudi Arabia to stop interfering in Lebanon’s domestic affairs after Prime Minister Saad Hariri announced his resignation while on a trip to Riyadh.
In a televised statement on Thursday, Hezbollah lawmaker Hassan Fadlallah said the Loyalty to the Resistance Bloc supports President Michel Aoun’s refusal to accept the resignation as long as it is not “voluntary.”
Fadlallah further underlined the need to preserve security and stability in Lebanon.
Hariri’s announcement in a televised speech from Saudi Arabia on Saturday has rattled Lebanon. Unidentified Lebanese authorities told Reuters on Thursday that Saudi authorities had ordered him to quit and were holding him in detention.
“When he went (to Saudi Arabia) he was asked to stay there and ordered to resign. They ordered him to read his resignation statement and he has been held under house arrest since,” said a senior Lebanese politician close to Hariri.
“Lebanon is heading towards asking foreign and Arab states to put pressure on Saudi Arabia to release Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri,” the official added.
Following Hariri’s resignation, Saudi Arabia’s Minister of State for Persian Gulf Affairs Thamer al-Sabhan said the Lebanese government would “be dealt with as a government declaring war on Saudi Arabia” because of what he described as aggression by Hezbollah.
The Lebanese people, he said, “must choose between peace or aligning with Hezbollah.”
Saudi Arabia accuses the Lebanese government of declaring war on the kingdom because of “aggression” by Hezbollah.
Hezbollah is represented in the Lebanese parliament and in the national unity government formed by Hariri last year.
The resistance group has played a critical role in the Syrian military’s counter-terrorism operations over the past few years.
Hezbollah’s achievements have raised worries in Saudi Arabia, which has long supported Takfiri groups wreaking havoc in the region.