Lebanon is 'declaring war' on Saudi Arabia, Saudi minister says

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Mr Hariri also attacked the Iran-backed Shia movement Hezbollah, which wields considerable power in Lebanon. The international organization's presence in Lebanon include the Office of the UN Special Coordinator for Lebanon (UNSCOL) who serves as the secretary-general's representative to the Lebanese Government, all political parties and the diplomatic community based in the country, and works on behalf of the UN chief to assist Lebanese parties to reach peaceful and consensus based solutions to contentious issues.

Iran has already extended its hegemony over Iraq, Lebanon and Syria; its deployment of forces in Iraq and Syria is a clear message that it is there for the long haul. Nasrallah revealed that after Hariri returned from a previous visit to Saudi Arabia, he told the members of his government that Saudi Arabia supports stability, security in Lebanon, and the continuation of the government under his leadership.

Nasrallah questioned the credibility of Hariri's announcement of the resignation, which was issued in Saudi Arabia.

"We live in an atmosphere similar to the atmosphere that prevailed before the assassination of martyr Prime Minister Rafik Hariri, and I sensed what is being woven in secret to target my life", he said.

Lebanon has one of the world's highest ratios of debt-to-GDP and last month passed its first budget since 2005, one of the few achievements of the coalition government.

Gutterres's comments came following the resignation of Lebanese Prime Minister, Saad Hariri on Saturday.

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"The resignation was aimed at creating tension in Lebanon and the region". The UNIFIL mandate was extended in September 2017, a step that the UN chief welcomed and expressed confidence that it will have a role in supporting a peaceful political environment in Lebanon.

"The Saudis felt that Hariri was not delivering and that Hezbollah and Iran were using [the governing arrangement] for their interest", said Shavit.

Hariri, a Sunni Muslim, has been serving as prime minister since December 2016.

It is hard to predict how Hariri's resignation will effect Israeli interests.

"Hariri's resignation was coordinated with US President Donald Trump and Saudi Arabia's Mohammad bin Salman", Iranian Foreign Ministry official Hossein Sheikholeslam told the Fars News Agency. "But if the Saudis fail and Hezbollah strengthens its position and has more room to maneuver, we will lose", said Shavit. "Saudi Arabia is more concerned than Israel about Iran", he said. Iran was sowing strife, destruction and ruin wherever it went and accused it of a "deep hatred for the Arab nation", he said.

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