Key developments on al-Hariri's watch

Lebanon's former prime minister Rafiq al-Hariri, who was killed in a massive blast in Beirut, was a dominant figure on the country's political and business scenes for years.

    Al-Hariri, seen with wife Nazik here, was a self-made billionaire

    Following are some of the key developments in Lebanon since he first took office in 1992, two years after the end of the devastating 15-year civil war.

     

    1992

      

    31 October: Al-Hariri takes office as prime minister.

      

    29 December: Lebanese army takes control of southern Beirut, a stronghold of the resistance group Hizb Allah, for the first time in nine years.

     

    1993

      

    20 May: Al-Hariri reinforces his control of Lebanon's finances by naming close ally Riad Salama as head of the Central Bank of Lebanon.

      

    9 August: About 600 Lebanese troops deploy in the UN interim force-controlled zone in southern Lebanon, north of the Israeli-occupied zone, about 10 days after a massive Israeli military offensive into the country.

      

    2 November: Launch of Beirut city centre reconstruction plan, led by the Solidere construction company, of which al-Hariri is a main shareholder.

     

    1994

      

    23 March: Cabinet dissolves Samir Giagia's Christian Lebanese Forces party.

      

    21 April: Giagia and 150 followers arrested over a church bombing north of Beirut that killed 10 worshippers in February.

     

    With President Emile Lahud (R)

    8-14 May: Al-Hariri suspends government activity because of President Ilias Harawi's resistance to a cabinet reshuffle. Al-Hariri resumes activity following talks with Syrian President Hafiz al-Asad in Damascus.

      

    1 December: Al-Hariri says he will resign, apparently blaming a lack of cohesion in his cabinet. A week later he goes back to work after assurances from Damascus of greater cooperation from Shia leaders.

     

    1995

      

    19 May: Al-Hariri resigns, saying he needs a government of solidarity. He forms a government of "the faithful" a week later.

      

    19 October: Parliament amends the constitution to extend Harawi's mandate by three years.

     

    1996

      

    26 April: Ceasefire agreement ends Israel's punitive

    Grapes of Wrath operation against resistance fighters in southern Lebanon, which left 175 people dead, mostly civilians.

      

    7 November: Al-Hariri forms his third government.

     

    With Syria's Bashar al-Asad (L)

    16 December: Al-Hariri receives promises of $3.2 million in aid over three years at a donors' conference in Washington.


    1997

      

    29 May: Government admits to phone taps "for reasons of national security".

     

    1998

      

    15 October: General Emile Lahud is elected president by parliament and succeeds Harawi on 24 November.

      

    30 November: Al-Hariri refuses to form a new government following Lahud's election.

      

    4 December: Veteran Sunni leader and economist Salim al-Hoss takes office as prime minister.

     

    2000

      

    24 May: Israeli troops pull out of southern Lebanon, ending 22 years of occupation.

      

    Lebanese women react to news
    of al-Hariri's death on Monday

    26 October: Al-Hariri becomes prime minister for the fourth time.

     

    2001

      

    15 April: Israel carries out an air strike on a Syrian military radar station in Lebanon.

     

    14-18 June: Syria withdraws troops from Beirut and redeploys them eastward to the Bekaa Valley.

     

    2002

      

    10 January: Lebanon and the European Union sign an association agreement.

      

    1 February: The government introduces a new 10% value added tax (VAT).

      

    3 March: Syria's Al-Asad visits Lebanon for the first time as president, in the first such trip to Lebanon by a Syrian head of state in more than 25 years.

      

    27-28 March: Beirut hosts the 14th Arab League summit that adopts a comprehensive initiative offering peace with Israel in return for a pullout from occupied Arab territories.

     

    2003

     

    A bomb near Beirut's seafront
    caused al-Hariri's death

    16 April: Al-Hariri resigns. A day later, he forms what is considered the most pro-Syrian government since the end of the civil war.


    2004

      

    2 September: The UN Security Council adopts Resolution 1559 calling for the withdrawal of foreign forces from Lebanon and respect for its sovereignty - implicitly censuring Damascus.

      

    3 September: Lebanese parliament bows to Syrian pressure and approves a controversial constitutional amendment giving Emile Lahud another three years in office.

      

    6 September: Four ministers quit the cabinet in protest at the constitutional amendment. 

      

    20 October: Al-Hariri resigns as prime minister.

      

    26 October: Prime minister designate Umar Karami forms a new 30-member cabinet, with keys posts going to pro-Syrian figures and with women entering government for the first time in Lebanon's history.

     

    2005

      

    14 February: Rafiq al-Hariri is killed in a massive blast in a seafront area of central Beirut.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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