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

WHO: Anti-Ebola Efforts Should Focus on West Africa

Official says WHO is 'reasonably confident' countries bordering those hardest hit by the Ebola outbreak are not seeing the virus crossing their borders More

South Sudan Crisis Threatens Development

Economic costs and lost development opportunities in South Sudan have erased what little progress the country has made since independence in 2011 More

Ukrainian PM Warns: Russia May Try to Disrupt Sunday Poll

Arseniy Yatsenyuk orders full security mobilization for parliamentary election to prevent ‘terrorist acts’ from being carried out 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.
After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rulesi
X
October 21, 2014 12:20 AM
European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.
Video

Video Young Nairobi Tech Innovator on 'Track' in Security Business

A 24-year-old technology innovator in Nairobi has invented a tracking device that monitors and secures cars. He has also come up with what he claims is the most robust audio-visual surveillance system yet. As Lenny Ruvaga reports from the Kenyan capital, his innovations are offering alternative security solutions.
Video

Video Latinas Converting to Islam for Identity, Structure

Latinos are one of the fastest growing groups in the Muslim religion. According to the Pew Research Center, about 6 percent of American Muslims are Latino. And a little more than half of new converts are female. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti travelled to Miami, Florida -- where two out of every three residents is Hispanic -- to learn more.
Video

Video Exclusive: American Joins Kurds' Anti-IS Fight

The United States and other Western nations have expressed alarm about their citizens joining Islamic State forces in Syria and Iraq. In a rare counterpoint to the phenomenon, an American has taken up arms with the militants' Syrian Kurdish opponents. Elizabeth Arrott has more in this exclusive profile by VOA Kurdish reporter Zana Omer in Ras al Ayn, Syria.
Video

Video South Korea Confronts Violence Within Military Ranks

Every able-bodied South Korean male between 18 and 35 must serve for 21 to 36 months in the country’s armed forces, depending upon the specific branch. For many, service is a rite of passage to manhood. But there are growing concerns that bullying and violence come along with the tradition. Reporter Jason Strother has more from Seoul.
Video

Video North Carolina Emerges as Key Election Battleground

U.S. congressional midterm elections will be held on November 4th and most political analysts give Republicans an excellent chance to win a majority in the U.S. Senate, which Democrats now control. So what are the issues driving voters in this congressional election year? VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone traveled to North Carolina, one of the most politically competitive states in the country, to find out.
Video

Video Comanche People Maintain Pride in Their Heritage

The Comanche (Indian nation) once were called the “Lords of the Plains,” with an empire that included half the land area of current day Texas, large parts of Oklahoma, New Mexico, Kansas and Colorado.The fierceness and battle prowess of these warriors on horseback delayed the settlement of most of West Texas for four decades. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Lawton, Oklahoma, that while their warrior days are over, the 15,000 members of the Comanche Nation remain a proud people.
Video

Video Turkey Campus Attacks Raise Islamic Radicalization Fears

Concerns are growing in Turkey of Islamic radicalization at some universities, after clashes between supporters of the jihadist group Islamic State (IS) or ISIS, and those opposed to the extremists. Pro-jihadist literature is on sale openly on the streets of Istanbul. Critics accuse the government of turning a blind eye to radicalism at home, while Kurds accuse the president of supporting IS - a charge strongly denied. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.

All About America

AppleAndroid