A spokesperson for United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres issued a statement Sunday saying Guterres was concerned over the sudden resignation this weekend of Lebanon’s Prime Minister Sa’ad Hariri.
“The Secretary-General is concerned by news of the offer of resignation of Lebanon Prime Minister Saad Hariri,” said Stephane Dujarric, spokesperson for Guterres. “He hopes all sides will focus their efforts on supporting the continuity of Lebanon’s state institutions, in adherence with the constitution, and safeguarding the country’s security and stability.”
“The United Nations remains committed to supporting the security, sovereignty and territorial integrity of Lebanon,” he added.
Hariri revealed in his letter of resignation that the atmosphere in Lebanon is similar to that which preceded “the assassination of Rafiq Hariri” in February 2005.
There were reports of foiling an assassination attempt on Hariri in Beirut just a few days before he fled the country to Saudi Arabia, according to a report published by Lebanon 24. The alleged masterminds “blocked the watchtowers during the convoy’s motorcade” as part of the attempt, according to the report.
In addition, Hariri received “Western warnings” of an assassination attempt being planned as well. Moreover, Saudi Minister for Gulf Affairs, Thams al-Sbahan, told Lebanon 24 that Hariri’s personal guard had “concrete information” about a plot to assassinate him as well.
Hezbollah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah, meanwhile, has denied there was any reason for the prime minister to flee the country and is urging citizens not to demonstration against the resignation.
Hariri’s sudden departure and resignation has resulted in a collapse of the coalition government, which included two Hezbollah ministers. Nasrallah has accused the Saudi government of holding Hariri against his will and forcing him to deliver a statement of resignation that was written by a Saudi speech writer.