Lebanon's president asked Saad al-Hariri to stay on as caretaker prime minister on Thursday after Hezbollah ministers and their allies resigned in a dispute over an investigation into the killing of Hariri's father. A statement issued by President Michel Suleiman called on the government to "continue in a caretaker capacity until a new government is formed". Hariri, who was meeting U.S. President Barack Obama in Washington when his fragile, 14-month-old "unity" government collapsed on Wednesday, was due to hold talks in Paris later on Thursday with French President Nicolas Sarkozy. The resignations of the 11 ministers followed the failure of regional powers Saudi Arabia and Syria to forge a deal to reduce tension over the U.N.-backed investigation into Rafik al-Hariri's 2005 assassination.