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

Video Migrants Caught in No-Man's Land In French Port

The deaths of hundreds of migrants in the Mediterranean this week has only recast the spotlight on the perils of reaching 'Fortress Europe' More

Video Westgate Mall Attack Survivors Confront Painful Memories

On anniversary of terror attack, survivors discuss how they have coped with trauma they experienced that day More

New Hints That Dark Matter Exists

New evidence from International Space Station hints at existence of dark matter and dark energy 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.
Migrants Caught in No-Man's Land Called Calaisi
X
Lisa Bryant
September 19, 2014 5:04 PM
The deaths of hundreds of migrants in the Mediterranean this week has only recast the spotlight on the perils of reaching Europe. And for those forunate enough to reach a place like Calais, France, only find that their problems aren't over. Lisa Bryant has the story.
Video

Video Migrants Caught in No-Man's Land Called Calais

The deaths of hundreds of migrants in the Mediterranean this week has only recast the spotlight on the perils of reaching Europe. And for those forunate enough to reach a place like Calais, France, only find that their problems aren't over. Lisa Bryant has the story.
Video

Video Westgate Siege Anniversary Brings Back Painful Memories

One year after it happened, the survivors of the terror attack on Nairobi's Westgate Shopping Mall still cannot shake the images of that tragic incident. For VOA, Mohammed Yusuf tells the story of victims still waiting for the answer to the question 'how could this happen?'
Video

Video Militant Assault in Syria Displaces Thousands of Kurds

A major assault by Islamic State militants on Kurds in Syria has sent a wave of new refugees to the Turkish border, where they were stopped by Turkish border security. Turkey is already hosting about 700,000 Syrian refugees who fled the civil war between the government and the opposition. But the government in Ankara has a history of strained relations with Turkey's Kurdish minority. Zlatica Hoke reports Turkey is asking for international help.
Video

Video CERN Accelerator Back in Business

The long upgrade of the Large Hadron Collider is over. The scientific instrument responsible for the discovery of the Higgs boson -- the so-called "God particle" -- is being brought up to speed in time for this month's 60th anniversary of the European Organization for Nuclear Research, known by its French acronym CERN. Physicists hope the accelerator will help them uncover more secrets about the origins of the universe. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Whaling Summit Votes to Uphold Ban on Japan Whale Hunt

The International Whaling Commission, meeting in Slovenia, has voted to uphold a court ruling banning Japan from hunting whales in the Antarctic Ocean. Conservationists hailed the ruling as a victory, but Tokyo says it will submit revised plans for a whale hunt in 2015. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Russian Economy Reeling After New Western Sanctions

A new wave of Western sanctions is hitting Russia’s economy hard. State-owned energy firms continue to bleed profits and Russia’s national currency plunged to a new low this week after the U.S. and the European Union announced new sanctions to punish Russia's aggressive stance in eastern Ukraine. But as Mil Arcega reports, the sanctions could also prove costly for European and American companies.
Video

Video Belgian Researchers Discover Way to Block Cancer Metastasis

Cancer remains one of the deadliest diseases, despite many new methods to combat it. Modern medicine has treatments to prevent the growth of primary tumor cells. But most cancer deaths are caused by metastasis, the stage when primary tumor cells change and move to other parts of the body. A team of Belgian scientists says it has found a way to prevent that process. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Mogadishu's Flood of Foreign Workers Leaves Somalis Out of Work

Unemployment and conflict has forced many young Somalians out of the country in search of a better life. But a newfound stability in the once-lawless nation has created hope — and jobs — which, some say, are too often being filled by foreigners. Abdulaziz Billow reports from Mogadishu.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Iraqi Kurdistan Church Helps Christian Children Cope find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil

In the past six weeks, tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians have been forced to flee their homes by Islamic State militants and find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil. Despite U.S. airstrikes in the region, the prospect of people returning home is still very low and concerns are starting to grow over the impact this is having on the displaced youth. Sebastian Meyer reports from Irbil on how one church is coping.
Video

Video NASA Picks Boeing, SpaceX to Carry Astronauts Into Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, has chosen Boeing and SpaceX companies to build the next generation of spacecraft that will carry U.S. astronauts to the International Space Station by the year 2017. The deal with private industry enables NASA to end its dependence on Russia to send space crews into low Earth orbit and back. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Future of Ukrainian Former President's Estate Uncertain

More than six months after Ukraine's former President Viktor Yanukovych fled revolution to Russia, authorities have yet to gain control of his palatial estate. Protesters occupy the grounds and opened it to tourists but they are also refusing to turn it over to the state. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Mezhigirya, just north of Kyiv.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid