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Hariri cancels cabinet meeting amidst calls for resignation

Prime Minister of Lebanon, Saad Hariri (C) arrives to meet with Lebanese President Michel Aoun (not seen) at Baabda Palace, in Beirut, Lebanon on 2 February 2019. [Lebanese Prime Ministry Office / Handout - Anadolu Agency]
Prime Minister of Lebanon, Saad Hariri (C) arrives to meet with Lebanese President Michel Aoun (not seen) at Baabda Palace, in Beirut, Lebanon on 2 February 2019. [Lebanese Prime Ministry Office / Handout - Anadolu Agency]

Lebanese prime minister, Saad Al-Hariri, cancelled the cabinet meeting which planned to take place on Friday, amidst calls for him to resign, Lebanese mass media reported.

Hariri declared a 72-hour ultimatum for his partners in government, to announce their support for reformations and anti-corruption plans, which were already agreed upon.

Al-Araby Al-Jadeed reported a Lebanese news agency as stating that the Lebanese president, Michel Aoun, asked Hariri not to resign.

The news agency confirmed that Aoun and Hariri discussed the ongoing situation in the country, and the possible measures which should be taken to ensure that the ongoing protests remain peaceful.

Read: Lebanon, pushed to the brink, faces reckoning over graft

It also explained that both heads of state are in continuous contact over the issue of the protests, as well as the calls for the government to resign.

The government’s decision to impose new taxes and to increase taxes already in place, broke a wide-scale wave of protests in the country.

Addressing the nation on TV, Hariri announced “I am giving our partners in government a very short deadline – 72 hours to give us a solution that can convince us, the people on the streets and our international partners.”

He continued describing the country’s economic crisis as “unprecedented” and “difficult”.

During his speech, protesters in Beirut’s Martyr Square continued to call for the resignation of the country’s political leadership, including Hariri, Aoun,  Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri and Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil.

Read: Lebanon’s Hariri said to have given $16m to South Africa model

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