Prime Minister Saad Hariri was meeting with U.S. President Barack Obama Wednesday at the moment that the ten ministers of the March 8 coalition resigned from the Lebanese government.
The two men were meeting in the Oval Office at the White House, smiling as they posed for photographers, without making any statements.
At the same moment, Hizbullah ministers and their allies resigned from the Lebanese cabinet in a crisis linked to a U.N. probe into the murder of former premier Rafik Hariri.
Just minutes later the Lebanese government collapsed as an 11th minister close to President Michel Suleiman, State Minister Adnan Sayyed Hussein, tendered his resignation, thus providing the minimum necessary number of resignations to topple the cabinet.
A White House statement released later Wednesday said the actions by Hizbullah “only demonstrate their own fear and determination to block the government’s ability to conduct its business and advance the aspirations of all of the Lebanese people.”
Obama commended Hariri “for his steadfast leadership and efforts to reach peace, stability, and consensus in Lebanon under difficult circumstances.