News / Middle East

Lebanon's Hariri Asks Hezbollah-Backed PM to Clarify UN Tribunal Stance

Lebanon's PM-designate Najib Mikati (R) meets with caretaker PM Saad Hariri (L) at the Parliament during consultations to form a new cabinet, Beirut, Jan 27 2011
Lebanon's PM-designate Najib Mikati (R) meets with caretaker PM Saad Hariri (L) at the Parliament during consultations to form a new cabinet, Beirut, Jan 27 2011
TEXT SIZE - +

Lebanon's Hezbollah-backed prime minister-designate has held talks with political leaders to begin forming a new government, as differences over a United Nations tribunal investigating the 2005 assassination of former prime minister Rafiq Hariri threaten that effort.

The movement of outgoing Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri asked the new incoming prime minister, Najib Mikati, Thursday whether he will continue ties to the U.N. tribunal investigating the death of the former prime minister, Mr. Hariri's father.

Saad Hariri's political ally, Fuad Siniora, says the movement has submitted a list of demands to Mr. Mikati to clarify his position on the tribunal.

The U.N. tribunal's investigation is at the center of Lebanon's political crisis.  

The Shi'ite militant group Hezbollah wants Lebanon to cut ties with the tribunal and denies any role in the killing of Mr. Hariri's father. Hezbollah and its allies resigned from Saad Hariri's Western-backed coalition Cabinet, causing it to collapse earlier this month, when he refused to denounce the tribunal.

The tribunal's still-secret indictment issued last week is expected to accuse Hezbollah members of involvement in the 2005 assassination.

U.S. State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley said Thursday the U.S. will judge the new Lebanese government by its actions.  He said "a clear test" will be the government's willingness to continue to support the tribunal's work.

Mr. Mikati said he would form a Cabinet of technocrats if the party of the outgoing prime minister refuses to join the government.

Mr. Mikati has said he wants to include all parties in his Cabinet, but Mr. Hariri has said he will not join a government led by someone picked by Hezbollah.

In neighboring Syria, one of Hezbollah's foreign patrons, the Syrian foreign minister Walid al-Muallem on Thursday urged all sides to join a unity government.

The United States is reconsidering economic and military support for Lebanon after Hezbollah won a prominent role in the government of the fragile, religiously divided nation.

Thousands of Mr. Hariri's angry supporters took to the streets Tuesday in several cities, where they shouted their loyalty to the former leader. Some protesters said they would not allow Lebanon to go down "an Iranian path," a reference to Tehran's support for Hezbollah.

 

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

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

You May Like

Multimedia Parents of Disaster Ferry Passengers Lash Out at Authorities

Twenty-nine bodies recovered from water but some 270 remain trapped on board More

War Legacy Haunts Vietnam, US Relations

US congressional delegation initiates $84 million Agent Orange cleanup project More

Wikipedia Proves Useful for Tracking Flu

Technique gave better results than Center for Disease Control (CDC) and Google’s Flu Trends 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.
Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politicsi
X
Michael Eckels
April 19, 2014
There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politics

There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Face of American Farmer is Changing

The average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population. It’s a troubling trend signaling big changes ahead for American agriculture as aging farmers retire. Reporter Mike Osborne says a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau is suggesting what some of those changes might look like... and why they might not be so troubling.
Video

Video Donetsk Governor: Ukraine Military Assault 'Delicate But Necessary'

Around a dozen state buildings in eastern Ukraine remain in the hands of pro-Russian protesters who are demanding a referendum on self-rule. The governor of the whole Donetsk region is among those forced out by the protesters. He spoke to VOA's Henry Ridgwell from his temporary new office in Donetsk city.
Video

Video Drones May Soon Send Data From High Seas

Drones are usually associated with unmanned flying vehicles, but autonomous watercraft are also becoming useful tools for jobs ranging from scientific exploration to law enforcement to searching for a missing airliner in the Indian Ocean. VOA’s George Putic reports on sea-faring drones.
Video

Video New Earth-Size Planet Found

Not too big, not too small. Not too hot, not too cold. A newly discovered planet looks just right for life as we know it, according to an international group of astronomers. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Copts in Diaspora Worry About Future in Egypt

Around 10 percent of Egypt’s population belong to the Coptic faith, making them the largest Christian minority in the Middle East. But they have become targets of violence since the revolution three years ago. With elections scheduled for May and the struggle between the Egyptian military and Islamists continuing, many Copts abroad are deeply worried about the future of their ancient church. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky visited a Coptic church outside Washington DC.
Video

Video Critics Say Venezuelan Protests Test Limits of Military's Support

During the two months of deadly anti-government protests that have rocked the oil-rich nation of Venezuela, President Nicolas Maduro has accused the opposition of trying to initiate a coup. Though a small number of military officers have been arrested for allegedly plotting against the government, VOA’s Brian Padden reports the leadership of the armed forces continues to support the president, at least for now.
Video

Video More Millenials Unplug to Embrace Board Games

A big new trend in the U.S. toy industry has more consumers switching off their high-tech gadgets to play with classic toys, like board games. This is especially true among the so-called millenial generation - those born in the 1980's and 90's. Elizabeth Lee has more from an unusual café in Los Angeles, where the new trend is popular and business is booming.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
AppleAndroid