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Lebanon's Nasrallah says he's against government resignation

Lebanon's influential Hezbollah leader says he doesn't support the government's resignation amid nationwide protests calling for politicians to step down over a deepening economic crisis.

Hassan Nasrallah said Saturday that calls for the current national unity government to resign are "a waste of time" since the same political groups will haggle over forming a new one.

Largescale protests that have targeted the country's entire political class have brought Lebanon to a standstill since Thursday.

A family riding a scooter check the aftermath of a protest against the Lebanese government in Beirut, Lebanon, Saturday, Oct. 19, 2019. The blaze of protests was unleashed a day earlier when the government announced a slate of new proposed taxes, including a $6 monthly fee for using Whatsapp voice calls. (AP PhotoHassan Ammar)

Nasrallah warned the protesters against being pulled into political rivalries, saying that would derail their message. He said politicians who shirk responsibility, by quitting the Cabinet while the economy crumbles, should be brought to trial.

Lebanon's prime minister gave his partners in government a 72-hour ultimatum to come up with convincing solutions amid the pressures.

Policemen stand behind barricades that were installed as extra security measures around the Lebanese government building, background, Beirut, Lebanon, Saturday, Oct. 19, 2019. The blaze of protests was unleashed a day earlier when the government announced a slate of new proposed taxes, including a $6 monthly fee for using Whatsapp voice calls. The measures set a spark to long-smoldering anger against top leaders from the president and prime minister to the numerous factional figures many blame for decades of corruption and mismanagement. (AP PhotoHassan Ammar)

Historic buildings of the downtown area are reflected on a broken glass panel damaged by protesters after a protest against the Lebanese government in Beirut, Lebanon, Saturday, Oct. 19, 2019. The blaze of protests was unleashed a day earlier when the government announced a slate of new proposed taxes, including a $6 monthly fee for using Whatsapp voice calls. The measures set a spark to long-smoldering anger against top leaders from the president and prime minister to the numerous factional figures many blame for decades of corruption and mismanagement. (AP PhotoHassan Ammar)

A man passes by an ATM machine damaged by protesters after a protest against the Lebanese government in Beirut, Lebanon, Saturday, Oct. 19, 2019. The blaze of protests was unleashed a day earlier when the government announced a slate of new proposed taxes, including a $6 monthly fee for using Whatsapp voice calls. The measures set a spark to long-smoldering anger against top leaders from the president and prime minister to the numerous factional figures many blame for decades of corruption and mismanagement. (AP PhotoHassan Ammar)

Mohammad Al-Amin Mosque is seen through a broken glass door of a shop after a protest against the Lebanese government in Beirut, Lebanon, Saturday, Oct. 19, 2019. The blaze of protests was unleashed a day earlier when the government announced a slate of new proposed taxes, including a $6 monthly fee for using Whatsapp voice calls. The measures set a spark to long-smoldering anger against top leaders from the president and prime minister to the numerous factional figures many blame for decades of corruption and mismanagement. (AP PhotoHassan Ammar)

Historic buildings in the downtown are reflected on a broken glass panel damaged by protesters during protest against the Lebanese government in Beirut, Lebanon, Saturday, Oct. 19, 2019. The blaze of protests was unleashed a day earlier when the government announced a slate of new proposed taxes, including a $6 monthly fee for using Whatsapp voice calls. The measures set a spark to long smoldering anger against top leaders from the president and prime minister to the numerous factional figures many blame for decades of corruption and mismanagement. (AP PhotoHassan Ammar)