x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Hezbollah, allies to force collapse of Lebanon govt

Ministers from Lebanon's Hezbollah movement and its political allies will resign today, forcing the collapse of the al Hariri government, sources say.

BEIRUT //Ministers from Lebanon's Hezbollah movement and its political allies will resign today, forcing the collapse of Prime Minister Saad al Hariri's government, a senior political source said.

"The resignation statement has been written and will be announced at 4.30pm (1430 GMT)," he said. Eleven ministers would resign, enough to automatically bring the government down, added the source, who asked not to be named.

Lebanese politicians on Tuesday said Saudi Arabia and Syria had failed to forge a deal to curb political tensions in Lebanon over a UN-backed tribunal set up to try the killers of Hariri's father, former premier Rafik al Hariri.

Disagreements over the investigation had paralysed the "unity" government and revived fears of sectarian conflict.

Hezbollah has denied any involvement in the 2005 bombing which killed Rafik Hariri and 22 others. It has denounced the tribunal as an "Israeli project" and urged Saad al-Hariri to reject its findings -- a demand he has resisted.

Hariri was due to meet US president Barack Obama in Washington shortly before the planned resignation announcement.