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Back In Lebanon, Hariri Suspends Resignation, Says Open To Talks

Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri delivers a speech at the presidential palace on the outskirts of Beirut on November 22.

Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri has told a cheering crowd of supporters in Beirut that he is suspending his earlier shock resignation announcement, saying he wanted to protect the country’s "stability" amid the nation's political crisis.

"I discussed my resignation with the president of the republic, who asked me to wait before submitting it...and allow for more consultations," Hariri told reporters on November 22 shortly after returning to Lebanon from France.

Lebanon has been in turmoil since Hariri on November 4 announced from Saudi Arabia that he was stepping down, saying his life was in danger and blaming Iran-backed Hizballah militants of destabilizing Lebanon and the rest of the Middle East.

The action embroiled Lebanon deeper into the regional rivalry between Shi'ite Muslim Iran and Sunni-led Saudi Arabia. Iran and the Saudis are on opposing sides of bloody conflicts in Syria and Yemen.

Hariri said he had been forced to leave Lebanon in early November over fears for his life. He eventually left Saudi Arabia for France before returning to Lebanon late on November 21.

Iran and its Shi'ite Hizballah allies deny accusations from Saudi Arabia, the United States, and others that they are arming rebel groups and destabilizing the Middle East.

Based on reporting by Reuters and AP