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

    California Republicans Mull Choices in Presidential Race

    Ted Cruz tells state's Republican Convention delegates campaign will be 'battle on the ground, district by district by district,' ahead of June 7 primary

    Video Kurdish Football Team Helps War-Torn City Cope

    With conflict still raging across much of Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, many Kurds are trying to escape turmoil by focusing on success of football team Amedspor

    South African Company Designs Unique Solar Cooker

    Two-man team of solar power technologists introduces Sol4, hot plate that heats up so fast it’s like cooking with gas or electricity

    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.
    Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensionsi
    X
    April 29, 2016 12:28 AM
    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensions

    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Pakistani School Helps Slum Kids

    Master Mohammad Ayub runs a makeshift school in a public park in Islamabad. Thousands of poor children have benefited from his services over the years, but, as VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem reports, roughly 25 million school-age youths don't get an education in Pakistan.
    Video

    Video Florida’s Weeki Wachee ‘Mermaids’ Make a Splash

    Since 1947, ‘mermaids’ have fascinated tourists at central Florida’s Weeki Wachee Springs State Park with their fluid movements and synchronized ballet. Performing underwater has its challenges, including cold temperatures and a steady current, as VOA’s Lin Yang and Joseph Mok report.
    Video

    Video Somali, African Union Forces Face Resurgent Al-Shabab

    The Islamic State terror group claimed its first attack in Somalia earlier this week, though the claim has not been verified by forces on the ground. Meanwhile, al-Shabab militants have stepped up their attacks as Somalia prepares for elections later this year. Henry Ridgwell reports there are growing frustrations among Somalia’s Western backers over the country’s slow progress in forming its own armed forces to establish security after 25 years of chaos.
    Video

    Video Bangladesh Targeted Killings Spark Wave of Fear

    People in Bangladesh’s capital are expressing deep concern over the brutal attacks that have killed secular blogger, and most recently a gay rights activist and an employee of the U.S. embassy. Xulhaz Mannan, an embassy protocol officer and the editor of the country’s only gay and transgender magazine Roopban; and his friend Mehboob Rabbi Tanoy, a gay rights activist, were hacked to death by five attackers in Mannan’s Dhaka home earlier this month.
    Video

    Video Documentary Tells Tale of Chernobyl Returnees

    Ukraine this week is marking the 30th anniversary of the world's worst nuclear accident, at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. Soviet officials at first said little about the accident, but later evacuated a 2,600-square-kilometer "exclusion zone." Some people, though, came back. American directors Holly Morris and Anne Bogart created a documentary about this faithful and brave community. VOA's Tetiana Kharchenko reports from New York on "The Babushkas of Chernobyl." Carol Pearson narrates.
    Video

    Video Nigerians Feel Bite of Buhari Economic Policy

    Despite the global drop in the price of oil, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has refused to allow the country's currency to devalue, leading to a shortage of foreign exchange. Chris Stein reports from Lagos businessmen and consumers are feeling the impact as the country deals with a severe fuel shortage.
    Video

    Video  Return to the Wild

    There’s a growing trend in the United States to let old or underused golf courses revert back to nature. But as Erika Celeste reports from one parcel in Grafton, Ohio, converting 39 hectares of land back to green space is a lot more complicated than just not mowing the fairway.
    Video

    Video West Urges Unity in Libya as Migrant Numbers Soar

    The Italian government says a NATO-led mission aimed at stemming the flow of migrants from Libya to Europe could be up and running by July. There are concerns that the number of migrants could soar as the route through Greece and the Balkans remains blocked. Western powers say the political chaos in Libya is being exploited by people smugglers — and they are pressuring rival groups to come together under the new unity government. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Russia’s TV Rain Swims Against Tide in Sea of Kremlin Propaganda

    Russia’s media freedoms have been gradually eroded under President Vladimir Putin as his government has increased state ownership, influence, and restrictions on critical reporting. Television, where most Russians get their news, has been the main target and is now almost completely state controlled. But in the Russian capital, TV Rain stands out as an island in a sea of Kremlin propaganda.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora