Lebanese PM-Designate Resigns

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BEIRUT, Lebanon - Lebanese Prime Minister-designate Saad Hariri resigned on Thursday, after more than 10 weeks of failed efforts to form a coalition.

Two-and-a-half months ago, President Michel Suleiman tasked Hariri with forming a unity government, after his coalition won the national elections.

Hezbollah, the Iranian-backed Shi'ite terror organization, campaigned hard last spring against the Western-backed coalition. 

According to Hariri, Hezbollah presented him with "impossible conditions" for forming a unity government.

Two days ago, Hezbollah rejected Hariri's offer for 10 of the Cabinet's 30 seats, saying the prime minister-designate's proposal raised "major question marks on the fate of a national unity government."

After meeting with Suleiman, Hariri publicized his resignation at a press conference.

"I announce to all Lebanese that I told President Suleiman today that I will step down from forming a government in hope that this decision will be for the benefit of Lebanon," Hariri told reporters.

The Lebanese president will now begin another round of consultations with parliamentarians to select a replacement for Hariri, a billionaire backed by Saudi Arabia and the United States.

Hariri's resignation will likely lead Lebanon into more political uncertainty.

Source: The Associated Press

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