Hariri returns to Beirut after government collapse

Last Updated: Friday, January 14, 2011 - 21:28

Beirut: Lebanon`s caretaker prime minister
returned home today, two days after a Hezbollah-led coalition
toppled his Western-backed government.

Saad Hariri has been trying to rally international
support in the US, France and Turkey since ministers allied to
the Shiite militant group resigned Wednesday, bringing down
his government.

Hariri was meeting with President Barack Obama on
Wednesday when his government fell.

The crisis was the climax of long-simmering tensions
over the UN tribunal investigating the 2005 assassination of
Hariri`s father, former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri.

The tribunal is widely expected to indict members of
Hezbollah soon, which many fear could rekindle violence in the
tiny nation plagued for decades by war and civil strife.

Hezbollah denounces the Netherlands-based tribunal as a
conspiracy by the US and Israel.

It had demanded Hariri reject the tribunal`s findings
even before they came out, but Hariri has refused to break
cooperation with the court and its investigations.

Hariri`s office had no immediate comment on the
outcome of his meetings abroad.

Turkish leaders were expected to propose holding an
international conference to address the crisis and advise
Hariri to try to seek a consensus with Hezbollah, private NTV
television said today.


First Published: Friday, January 14, 2011 - 21:28

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