Lebanon's Hariri says to keep dialogue open with Hezbollah

Lebanon's former prime minister Saad al-Hariri (C) is seen standing at the entrance of the parliament building in Beirut, Lebanon March 2, 2016. REUTERS/Mohamed Azakir

BEIRUT (Reuters) - Former Lebanese prime minister Saad al-Hariri, a Sunni Muslim, said on Wednesday he would keep domestic dialogue open with rivals Hezbollah, after the Gulf Cooperation Council designated the Shi’ite group a terrorist organization.

Hariri, who is backed by Saudi Arabia, told a news conference it was not up to him to agree or disagree with the terrorist listing, but that he wanted to continue meetings with Hezbollah “to avoid sedition” in Lebanon.

However, Hariri also criticized the group for its involvement in the Syrian war and its alleged involvement in Yemen as “criminal, unlawful and terrorist”.

Reporting by John Davison, Mariam Karouny, Laila Bassam; Editing by Gareth Jones