BEIRUT, (Reuters) – Pro-Syrian Hezbollah and its allies will stage a large protest in Beirut within the next 48 hours to demand the resignation of Lebanon’s Western-backed government, a senior political source said on Wednesday. “The decision to take to the streets has been taken and there will be a large demonstration in Beirut within 48 hours,” the source, who is close to the opposition, said. “There will be an announcement with the details later.”
The source said the decision had been agreed by Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri — both Shi’ite Muslims — and Christian opposition leader Michel Aoun.
Hezbollah and its allies have said they would take to the streets to try to topple the government of Prime Minister Fouad Siniora after the anti-Syrian majority coalition rejected their demands for a decisive say in government.
That led six pro-Syrian ministers to quit the cabinet.
The majority says the pro-Syrian camp wants to weaken Siniora’s government and derail plans for an international tribunal to try suspects in the killing of former Prime Minister Rafik al-Hariri in 2005. A U.N. inquiry has implicated Syrian and Lebanese security officials in the assassination. Syria denies involvement.
Several Lebanese leaders have warned that any widescale protests could disintegrate into street violence, deepening the political crisis and pushing Lebanon towards choas.