|Lebanese PM suspends decision to resign||
BEIRUT (The Daily Star) -- Lebanese Prime Minister Najib Mikati said Saturday he suspended his decision to resign and has given the president time to consult the National Dialogue Committee on the matter as the opposition March 14 called for a “day of rage” over the recent killing of a top intelligence officer.
“I am committed to my decision [to resign] until the president finalizes his consultations with the National Dialogue Committee but I am still committed to my original decision,” Mikati told reporters after an emergency Cabinet session headed by Sleiman at Baabda Palace.
The session convened to discuss the Friday car bombing in Beirut that claimed the life of Brig. Gen. Wissam al-Hasan, who headed the police’s Information Branch since its inception in 2006.
Mikati, who held consultations with Sleiman prior to the session, said the president advised him not to resign at the present time “so as not to plunge the country into a state of paralysis.”
“The president has asked for a period of time to allow him to consult with the members of the National Dialogue Committee,” added Mikati, who also warned that the country was going through a major crisis.
The prime minister admitted that his position was complicated by perceptions that the Sunni community in Lebanon was being targeted.
“I am going through a very critical phase because my sect feels that it is being targeted,” he said.
Friday’s attack that left at least five people killed, including Hasan, and wounded 110 others has raised concern of a return to the political assassinations that rattled Lebanon between 2005 and 2008.
Moments before Mikati spoke about his future as head of the government, the opposition March 14 coalition called for a “day of rage” Sunday at Martyrs’ Square in Beirut over Hasan’s killing and to demand that the government quit.
Hasan, 47, will be buried near the tomb of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri who was assassinated in a massive car bombing in 2005 as his convey traveled along the capital’s popular coastal road.
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