Hariri returns to Beirut after government collapse
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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.

PTI


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


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