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Lebanon-Premier resignation.

Tareq Alhomayed, editor-in-chief of the Saudi newspaper ASHARQ AL AWSAT, called on Sunday on Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri to resign rather than bow to demands for the abolition of the UN-backed Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL), which is investigating and trying suspects in the 2005 assassination of his father, former Prime Minister Rafik al-Hariri. The Syrian-backed powerful Shiite Hizbullah group and its allies have dismissed the STL as an "American-Israeli tool" designed to instigate civil strife in Lebanon. Some of these factions have publicly demanded that the STL be abolished. Hariri and his allies in the pro-Western ruling March 14 coalition have upheld support for the tribunal. There are fears of Sunni-Shiite strife in Lebanon if the STL indicts Hizbullah members in Hariri's murder.

Alhomayed specifically referred to a recent statement by Druze leader Walid Jumblat, who called on Hariri to declare "the international tribunal is politicized and that he wants to get rid of it before an indictment is issued." Alhomayed said Jumblat also warned Hariri of a renewal of sectarian street fighting over the STL's indictment. "If Jumblat fears strife in Lebanon today, why didn't he fear for peace and stability in Syria in the past, especially since he is saying that the tribunal is part of a partition plan?" Alhomayed said in an editorial on Sunday. "If Jumblat fears sectarian strife in Lebanon today, why didn't the one who carried out Rafik al-Hariri's assassination fear sectarian strife when he decided to assassinate him?" Alhomayed said that Jumblat's call on Hariri to reject the STL amounted to "an act of madness and full destruction of Rafik al-Hariri's state-building project." "If pressure is stepped up on the Lebanese prime minister and he is faced only with the choice to undermine the tribunal's credibility, it is better for Saad al-Hariri to resign as prime minister and leave it for someone else to scuttle the tribunal," he concluded.
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Publication:The Daily Middle East Reporter (Beirut, Lebanon)
Geographic Code:7SYRI
Date:Oct 18, 2010
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