News / Middle East

Clinton: Hezbollah Tribunal Move Is Transparent Effort to Subvert Justice

US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton (r) speaks with Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit during their meeting, in Doha, Qatar, Jan 12, 2011
US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton (r) speaks with Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit during their meeting, in Doha, Qatar, Jan 12, 2011

Multimedia

Audio

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton Wednesday said the effort by Hezbollah to undermine the U.N.-backed tribunal in Lebanon is a transparent effort to subvert justice that is destined to fail. Clinton discussed the Lebanese government crisis with U.S. Gulf allies in Doha.

The collapse of the Lebanese coalition government, triggered by the resignation of Hezbollah and other cabinet members, unfolded as Clinton consulted U.S. Gulf allies in Oman and Qatar on the crisis.

At press event in Qatar, Clinton used her strongest language to date to condemn the maneuver by the Iranian-backed Lebanese militia and political party, calling it an obvious move by Hezbollah and "interests outside Lebanon" to subvert and undermine the country’s stability and progress.

The cabinet crisis came as the U.N.-backed tribunal on the 2005 assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri prepared to issue indictments expected to include Hezbollah officials.

Obama administration officials see it as a bid by Hezbollah to end Lebanese government support for the tribunal and discredit the inquiry. But Clinton, speaking with Qatari Prime Minister Hamad bin Jassim Al-Thani, said the effort will not succeed.

"Trying to bring the government down as a way to undermine the tribunal is an abdication of the responsibility, but it also will not work," said the U.S. secretary of state. "This tribunal is a creation of the United Nations and the Security Council. It is supported by many governments including my own. Its work will continue, and it is important that as the Prime Minister and I discussed, we work with the Lebanese government, the Lebanese people and our other partners who share our interests in pursuing both stability and justice in Lebanon."

Al-Thani, who doubles as the country’s foreign minister, said Qatar has no plans to mediate as it did in previous Lebanese cabinet crises, but said he hoped a Saudi effort to enlist Syria to restrain Hezbollah can still yield results.

"We support the Saudi-Syrian initiative and we have out trust in both leaders," said Al-Thani. "We trust [Saudi] King Abdullah as a person who seeks a solution on a just basis, which will do justice to all parties and to avoid Lebanon slipping into conflict again."

Clinton, who met separately with Qatari leaders and then held a broader meeting with Gulf Cooperation Council foreign ministers, said the tribunal investigation is not just about the death of former Prime Minister Hariri, but also the 22 others killed in the enormous car bomb blast in Beirut.

"What about all the other families and all the other people who came from across Lebanon? So this really goes to a very important point, which is that Lebanon needs now to rally behind its own interests. The Lebanese people need to get beyond political party. And it’s not political parties that would be put on trial, it’s individuals, who would either be found guilty or innocent of having plotted and carried out such a horrific crime," said Clinton.

A senior U.S. official who briefed reporters traveling with Clinton said Hezbollah staged the cabinet walkout as a "preemptive move" against the tribunal and its pending indictments.

He called Hezbollah efforts to discredit the inquiry, as, among other things, U.S. and Israeli-inspired, "rather specious."

He noted that while withdrawing its cabinet members, the Shiite movement has not sent its supporters into the streets to paralyze Beirut as it did in previous crises in 2006 and 2008. He said such tactics backfired and "tainted" Hezbollah’s reputation in Lebanon and much of the Middle East.

NEW: Follow our Middle East stories on Twitter
and discuss them on our Facebook page.

You May Like

Jihadist Assassin says Goal of Tunisia Murders Was Chaos

Abu Muqatil at-Tunusi’s remarks in a propaganda interview also cast light on attack on Bardo Museum More

Russia Denies License to Tatar-Language TV Station in Crimea

OSCE official says denial shows 'politically selective censorship of free and independent voices in Crimea is continuing' More

Kenyan Startups Tackle Expensive Remittances Through Bitcoin

Some think services could give Western Union a run for its money, though others say it’s still got a long way to go More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
For Obama, It's More Business Than Friendships With World Leadersi
X
Aru Pande
April 01, 2015 9:09 PM
The rift between President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has put a spotlight on the importance of the American leader’s personal relationships with other world leaders and what role such friendships play in foreign policy. VOA's Aru Pande reports.
Video

Video For Obama, It's More Business Than Friendships With World Leaders

The rift between President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has put a spotlight on the importance of the American leader’s personal relationships with other world leaders and what role such friendships play in foreign policy. VOA's Aru Pande reports.
Video

Video Buhari: Nigeria Has ‘Embraced Democracy’

Nigeria woke up to a new president-elect Wednesday, Muhammadu Buhari. But people say democracy is the real winner as the country embarks on its first peaceful handover of power since the end of military rule in 1999. VOA’s Anne Look reports from Abuja.
Video

Video Tiny Camera Sees Inside Blood Vessels

Ahead of any surgical procedure, doctors try to learn as much as possible about the state of the organs they plan to operate on. A new camera developed in the Netherlands can now make that easier - giving surgeons an incredibly detailed look inside blood vessels, all the way to the patient’s heart. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Latin American Groups Seek Fans at Texas Music Festival

Latin American music groups played all over Austin, Texas, during the recent South by Southwest festival, and some made fans out of locals as well as people from around the world who had come to hear music. Such exposure can boost such groups' image back home. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Stockton Community, Police, Work to Improve Relations

Relations are tense between minority communities and police departments around the United States following police shootings that have generated widely-publicized protests. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports from Stockton, California, where police and community groups are working toward solutions, with backing from Washington.
Video

Video Indiana Controversy Highlights Divergent Meanings of Religious Freedom

Indiana’s state government has triggered a nationwide controversy by approving a law that critics say is aimed at allowing discrimination against gays and lesbians. The controversy stems from divergent notions of religious freedom in America. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Report: State of Black America a 'Tale of Two Nations'

The National Urban League has described this year's "State of Black America" report as a "tale of two nations." The group's annual report, released earlier this month (March), found that under an equality index African Americans had only 72% parity compared to whites in areas such as education, economics, health, social justice and civic engagement. It’s a gap that educators and students at Brooklyn’s Medgar Evers College are looking to close. VOA's Daniela Schrier reports from the school.
Video

Video Film Tells Story of Musicians in Mali Threatened by Jihadists

At this year's annual South by Southwest film and music festival in Austin, Texas, some musicians from Mali were on hand to promote a film about how their lives were upturned by jihadists who destroyed ancient treasures in the city of Timbuktu and prohibited anyone from playing music under threat of death. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin, some are afraid to return to their hometowns even though the jihadists are no longer in control there.
Video

Video Ebola Vaccine Trials Underway in West Africa

Ebola has claimed the lives of more than 10,000 people in West Africa. Since last summer, researchers have rushed to get anti-Ebola vaccines into clinical trials. While it's too early to say that any of the potential vaccines work, some scientists say they are seeing strong results from some of the studies. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
Video

Video Philippines Wants Tourists Spending Money at New Casinos

Tourism is a multi-billion dollar industry in the Philippines. Close to five million foreign visitors traveled there last year, perhaps lured by the country’s tropical beaches. But Jason Strother reports from Manila that the country hopes to entice more travelers to stay indoors and spend money inside new casinos.
Video

Video Civilian Casualties Push Men to Join Rebels in Ukraine

The continued fighting in eastern Ukraine and the shelling of civilian neighborhoods seem to be pushing more men to join the separatist fighters. Many of the new recruits are residents of Ukraine made bitter by new grievances, as well as old. VOA's Patrick Wells reports.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.

VOA Blogs

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More