Hariri’s resignation came as a surprise. The fact that he did it from Riyadh, accusing Iran and its Lebanese ally Hezbollah of sowing strife in the Arab world, sent shockwaves through the region. His resignation shatters a delicate deal that put him in a coalition government after a two-year political vacuum.
It is not the first time a Lebanese government has collapsed – it happened in 2005, 2011 and 2013.
The country’s political structure requires that the president must be a Maronite Christian, the prime minister a Sunni Muslim, and the speaker of parliament a Shia Muslim.
Last year Lebanon’s parliament swore in a new cabinet dominated by Hezbollah and its allies – in a major victory for the Shia, Iran-backed group. Add to that, Hezbolllah’s military wing has been racking up victories in Syria, building up its arsenal, and steadily increasing its influence at home, and that has upset some, including Saudi Arabia.
So, what is next? And will Lebanon again become the battleground for other peoples’ wars?
Presenter: Martine Dennis
Joseph Kéchichian, Senior Fellow at the King Faisal Center for Research and Islamic Studies
Mostafa Khoshchesm, Professor of Journalism at the Applied Sciences University in Tehran
Rami Khouri, Senior Public Policy Fellow and adjunct Professor of Journalism at the American University of Beirut.
Source: Al Jazeera News