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It's official: the Lebanese prime minister did not resign after all

The crown prince of Saudi Arabia has made it a priority to counteract the growing regional influence of Iran. The prince was disgusted with Mr. Hariri's leadership of a government that included Hezbollah, which has continued to acquire new power and weapons while intervening in the war in neighboring Syria.

Hezbollah has played an important role in helping President Bashar al-Assad of Syria counteract an insurgency that began with political protests almost seven years ago and turned into a multifaceted war.

Thousands of Hezbollah fighters have gone to Syria and a smaller number to Iraq, transforming the organization of an originally formed militia to fight the Israeli occupation in southern Lebanon to turn it into a regional force that is deployed outside of Lebanon. borders of Lebanon.

Nothing is expected to change due to maneuvers by Saudi Arabia to coerce Mr. Hariri. The attempt failed when the president of Lebanon refused to accept the resignation unless Mr. Hariri delivered it in person, and the normally rebellious Lebanese united against the Saudi measure. The Lebanese were backed by Western and Arab governments led by France and Egypt.

The Lebanese government also announced on Tuesday that it was reaffirming its policy of "decoupling" from regional conflicts, adopted in 2013 in an attempt to isolate the country from the war in neighboring Syria.

It has been a widely ignored policy, both by Hezbollah and by the Hariri party's offer of early support to the Syrian rebels.

Nonetheless, the policy has worked to the extent that open warfare did not spread to Lebanon, despite its history of political and economic entanglements with Syria and its accommodation of more than 1 million Syrian refugees.

One of the reasons for the alarm about the Saudi movement to put pressure on Mr. Hariri was the danger that it could further destabilize Lebanon.

Mr. Hariri said in a brief statement after a cabinet meeting on Tuesday that the government had pledged to dissociate "from any dispute and conflict or war, and not interfere in the internal affairs of the Arab states, in order to preserve the relationship between Lebanon and its Arab Brothers. "

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