Lebanese government collapses as Hezbollah quits cabinet
timesofearth.com BEIRUT -- Lebanon's unity government has collapsed after the Hezbollah movement and its political allies resigned from the cabinet over arguments stemming from a UN probe into the assassination of Rafiq al-Hariri, the former Lebanese prime minister, in 2005. There has been growing political tension in Lebanon amid signs that Hezbollah members could be indicted by the UN-backed Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL). Ten ministers tendered their resignations on Wednesday after reports that al-Hariri's son Saad, the prime minister, had refused their call to convene a cabinet meeting to discuss controversial issues including the investigation by the STL. An eleventh member, Adnan Sayyed Hussein later, stood down from the 30-member cabinet, automatically bringing down al-Hariri's government. The request to convene the cabinet meeting came on Tuesday after Syria and Saudi Arabia, who have for months been attempting to act as mediators in Lebanon's political crisis, announced their efforts had failed. The resignations, which were announced by Jubran Bassil, the energy minister, came as al-Hariri was in Washington meeting Barack Obama, the US president. Bassil called on Michel Suleiman, the Lebanese president, to form a new government. Immediately after his government was brought down, al-Hariri cut short his visit to the US to fly home. He was driven to Dulles international airport after talks with Obama at the White House and will meet with Suleiman on his return <b>...</b>
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