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Hariri will not quit race to the PM's post

01-21-2011 07:30 BJT

BEIRUT, Jan. 20 (Xinhua) -- Caretaker Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri said Thursday he will not quit the race to form Lebanon's new cabinet.

In a brief speech broadcasted in the local Future TV, Hariri said his Future Movement parliamentary block and their Western- backed March 14 Alliance were committed to nominate him in binding consultations to name a new prime minister scheduled to kick off Monday.

"If they don't want Saad Hariri to head the new government, it's not a big deal. But they should do it according to the constitution away from terrorization," said the caretaker prime minister.

Hariri's 14-month old cabinet was brought down after the resignation of 11 ministers affiliated with the March 8 Alliance, which is headed by Lebanese Shiite armed group Hezbollah.

Tension mounted between Lebanon's March 8 and March 14 alliances over the Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL) probing the 2005 assassination of Saad's father, former Sunni Prime Minister Rafic Hariri.

The Netherlands-based court is widely expected to blame Hezbollah for the Hariri assassination, but the powerful group has repeatedly denied involvement and described the STL a "U.S.- Israeli" tool aimed at sowing strife in Lebanon.

The foreign ministers of Qatar Hamad bin Jassem bin Jabr al- Thani and Turkey Ahmet Davutoglu left Lebanon Thursday after their efforts to find a compromise among rival Lebanese groups hit a dead end.

Davutoglu told reporters in Ankara later Thursday that Lebanese groups were still far from reaching an agreement.

In recent months Hezbollah has launched a campaign to discredit the STL, and called on the Lebanese government to cut ties with the tribunal but their demands have so far fallen on deaf ears.

Many fear that tension between Sunni and Shiite groups over the STL would spill into street clashes, dragging the country to the brink of civil war.

In his speech Thursday, Hariri blasted strife in Lebanon "and anyone who instigates it," and vowed to pursue efforts to resolve the political deadlock in Lebanon.



Editor:Zhang Pengfei |Source: Xinhua

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