BEIRUT

Lebanon News

Mikati says resignation out of the question

Prime Minister Najib Mikati speaks during an interview with The Daily Star at the Grand Serail in Beirut, Monday, July 2, 2012. (The Daily Star/Mohammad Azakir)

BEIRUT: Prime Minister Najib Mikati said his resignation has become out of question because it would imply he accepted responsibility for the killing of slain intelligence chief Brig. Gen. Wissam al-Hasan.

“My resignation has become out of question... Choosing to resign would mean that I agreed to be held responsible for the blood of Brig. Gen. Wissam al-Hasan,” Mikati said in remarks to An-Nahar daily published Sunday.

In the interview, published a day before Mikati is to resume his work in the Grand Serail Monday, the prime minister said speeches from March 14 figures during Hasan’s burial had made him reconsider his decision to resign.

“I have said earlier I am not holding on to power and I am ready to resign, but Sunday’s speech [during Hasan’s burial] changed everything and made me reconsider my stance... The resignation should be a prelude to a solution and not a crisis,” Mikati said.

During a mass rally at which Hasan was buried last Sunday opposition figures and supporters called on Mikati to resign. Demonstrators also tried to invade the Grand Serail chanting slogans against Mikati.

Mikati also said that he is in constant contact with President Michel Sleiman to find a solution to the current situation.

He added that the consultations the president is holding with different political rivals aim at holding a national dialogue session.

Sleiman has been holding consultations with different political rivals to find a solution to the crisis triggered by Hasan’s killing.

The president’s efforts to resume all-party talks were however rejected by the March 14 coalition which said it will boycott dialogue and any parliamentary activity in which the government is involved, until Cabinet resigns.

 

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