News / Middle East

Clinton Wary of Hezbollah-Controlled Lebanon

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (R) speaks to the media next to Spain's Foreign Minister, Trinidad Jimenez, after their meeting at the State Department in Washington, 25 Jan 2011
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (R) speaks to the media next to Spain's Foreign Minister, Trinidad Jimenez, after their meeting at the State Department in Washington, 25 Jan 2011

Multimedia

Audio

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton says the emergence of a Hezbollah-controlled Lebanese government would clearly have an impact on U.S.-Lebanese relations.  She also said the United States believes Egypt is stable, despite Tunisia-style protests there.

Clinton says it is too early to judge the emerging government in Lebanon, but she is making clear U.S. apprehension about the prospect of a Beirut government dominated by Hezbollah and subject to Iranian influence.

The Lebanon situation, and political unrest in North Africa that spread to Egypt this week, dominated a meeting between Clinton and Foreign Minister Trinidad Jiminez of Spain, which has close relations with North Africa and leads the U.N. peacekeeping force in south Lebanon, UNIFIL.

Clinton said she and her Spanish counterpart share deep concerns about the influence in Lebanon of outside forces, an apparent reference to Iran and Syria, which have backed Hezbollah.

She said while the process of government formation is just beginning, the prospect of a leading role for the Shiite militia and political movement is troubling.

"A Hezbollah-controlled government would clearly have an impact on our bilateral relationship with Lebanon," she said. "Our bottom lines remain as they always have been.  First, we believe that justice must be pursued and impunity for murder ended.  We believe in Lebanon’s sovereignty and an end to outside interference.  So as we see what this new government does, we will judge it accordingly."

Hezbollah has pushed for an end to support by the Lebanese government for the U.N.-backed tribunal on the 2005 assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri.

Lebanon’s government crisis was spurred in part by secret indictments from the tribunal that are widely expected to implicate Hezbollah in the car-bomb killing.

The United States lists Hezbollah as a terrorist organization, and officials in Washington say its apparent rise to power will impact U.S. economic and military aid to Lebanon of nearly $250 million a year.

 

View Margaret Besheer's audio slideshow of the protest in Lebanon

On the Egyptian political unrest, Clinton said the United States is monitoring the situation closely, but does not think the turmoil affects the stability of the Cairo government, a key U.S. ally.

"We support the fundamental right of expression and assembly for all people," said the secretary of state. "And we urge that all parties exercise restraint and refrain from violence.  But our assessment is that the Egyptian government is stable and is looking for ways to respond to the legitimate needs and interests of the Egyptian people."

Clinton said she and Foreign Minister Jiminez discussed how the United States and European Union can help Tunisia in its transition from authoritarian rule to democracy.

She said while the country has a "long way to go," she is encouraged, after contacts with leaders of the interim government in Tunis, about their commitment to inclusive elections to be held as soon as practicable.

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

You May Like

Americans Celebrate Thanksgiving

Feasts centering on turkeys with an array of traditional sides and desserts are part of the holiday's traditions, which falls on the fourth Thursday in November More

Video For Obama, Ferguson Violence is a Personal Issue

With two years left in term, analysts say, president has less to lose by taking conversation on race further More

Video Italian Espresso Expands Into Space

When Italian astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti headed for the ISS, her countrymen worried how she would survive six months drinking only instant coffee 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.
US Community Kicks Off Thanksgiving With Paradei
X
Anush Avetisyan
November 26, 2014 10:57 PM
Thursday is Thanksgiving in the United States, a holiday whose roots go back to the country's earliest days as a British colony. One way Americans celebrate the occasion is with parades. Anush Avetisyan takes us to one such event on the day before Thanksgiving near Washington, where a community's diversity is on display. Joy Wagner narrates
Video

Video US Community Kicks Off Thanksgiving With Parade

Thursday is Thanksgiving in the United States, a holiday whose roots go back to the country's earliest days as a British colony. One way Americans celebrate the occasion is with parades. Anush Avetisyan takes us to one such event on the day before Thanksgiving near Washington, where a community's diversity is on display. Joy Wagner narrates
Video

Video For Obama, Ferguson Violence is a Personal Issue

Throughout the crisis in Ferguson, Missouri, President Barack Obama has urged calm, restraint and respect for the rule of law. But the events in Ferguson have prompted him to call — more openly than he has before — for profound changes to end the racism and distrust that he believes still exists between whites and blacks in the United States. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Online Magazine Gets Kids Discussing Big Questions

Teen culture in America is often criticized for being superficial. But an online magazine has been encouraging some teenagers to explore deeper issues, and rewarding their efforts. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky went to this year’s Kidspirit awards ceremony in New York.
Video

Video Aung San Suu Kyi: Myanmar Opposition to Keep Pushing for Constitutional Change

Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi says she and her supporters will continue pushing to amend a constitutional clause that bars her from running for president next year. VOA's Than Lwin Htun reports from the capital Naypyitaw in this report narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Mali Attempts to Shut Down Ebola Transmission Chain

Senegal and Nigeria were able to stop small Ebola outbreaks by closely monitoring those who had contact with the sick person and quickly isolating anyone with symptoms. Mali is now scrambling to do the same. VOA’s Anne Look reports from Mali on what the country is doing to shut down the chain of transmission.
Video

Video Ukraine Marks Anniversary of Deadly 1930s Famine

During a commemoration for millions who died of starvation in Ukraine in the early 1930s, President Petro Poroshenko lashed out at Soviet-era totalitarianism for causing the deaths and accused today’s Russian-backed rebels in the east of using similar tactics. VOA’s Daniel Shearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests at a Crossroads

New public opinion polls in Hong Kong indicate declining support for pro-democracy demonstrations after weeks of street protests. VOA’s Bill Ide in Guangzhou and Pros Laput in Hong Kong spoke with protesters and observers about whether demonstrators have been too aggressive in pushing for change.
Video

Video US Immigration Relief Imminent for Mixed-Status Families

Tens of thousands of undocumented immigrants in the Washington, D.C., area may benefit from a controversial presidential order announced this week. It's not a path to citizenship, as some activists hoped. But it will allow more immigrants who arrived as children or who have citizen children, to avoid deportation and work legally. VOA's Victoria Macchi talks with one young man who benefited from an earlier presidential order, and whose parents may now benefit after years of living in fear.
Video

Video New Skateboard Defies Gravity

A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the United States are benefiting from gas prices below $3 a gallon. But as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the decreasing price of petroleum has a downside for the hydraulic fracturing industry in the United States.
Video

Video Tensions Build on Korean Peninsula Amid Military Drills

It has been another tense week on the Korean peninsula as Pyongyang threatened to again test nuclear weapons while the U.S. and South Korean forces held joint military exercises in a show of force. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from the Kunsan Air Base in South Korea.
Video

Video Mama Sarah Obama Honored at UN Women’s Entrepreneurship Day

President Barack Obama's step-grandmother is in the United States to raise money to build a $12 million school and hospital center in Kogelo, Kenya, the birthplace of the president's father, Barack Obama, Sr. She was honored for her decades of work to aid poor Kenyans at a Women's Entrepreneurship Day at the United Nations.
Video

Video Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concerns

The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Chaos, Abuse Defy Solution in Libya

The political and security crisis in Libya is deepening, with competing governments and, according to Amnesty International, widespread human rights violations committed with impunity. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video US Hosts Record 866,000 Foreign Students

Close to 900,000 international students are studying at American universities and colleges, more than ever before. About half of them come from Asia, mostly China. The United States hosts more foreign students than any other country in the world, and its foreign student population is steadily growing. Zlatica Hoke reports.

All About America

AppleAndroid