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

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

At Khmer Rouge Court, Long-Awaited Verdict Approaches

First phase of trial, which is coming to an end, has focused on forced exodus of Phnom Penh in 1975 - and now many are hopeful justice will be served More

Video When Fighting Eases, Gazans Line Up at Bakeries

When there is a lull in the conflict, residents who have been hunkered down in their apartments rush out to stock up on food and other necessities More

Video Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukraine

Downing of Malaysian airliner, allegations of cross-border shelling move information war in war-torn country to a new level 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.
Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
July 31, 2014 8:13 PM
The downing of the Malaysian airliner two weeks ago, and allegations that Russians are shelling Ukrainian troops across the border, have moved the information war swirling around the Ukrainian conflict to a new level. VOA's Al Pessin reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukraine

The downing of the Malaysian airliner two weeks ago, and allegations that Russians are shelling Ukrainian troops across the border, have moved the information war swirling around the Ukrainian conflict to a new level. VOA's Al Pessin reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video When Fighting Eases, Gazans Line Up at Bakeries

When there is a lull in the conflict in Gaza, residents who have been hunkered down in their apartments rush out to stock up on food and other necessities. Probably the most important destination is the local bakery. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Gaza City.
Video

Video US-Funded Program Offers Honduran Children Alternative to Illegal Immigration

President Obama and Central American leaders recently agreed to come up with a plan to address poverty and crime in the region that is fueling the surge of young migrants trying to illegally enter the United States. VOA’s Brian Padden looks at one such program in Honduras - funded in part by the United States - which gives street kids not only food and safety but a chance for a better life without, crossing the border.
Video

Video 'Fab Lab' Igniting Revolution in Kenya

The University of Nairobi’s Science and Technology Park is banking on 3-D prototyping to spark a manufacturing revolution in the country. Lenny Ruvaga has more for from Nairobi's so-called “FabLab” for VOA.
Video

Video Gazans in Shelled School Sought Shelter

Israel's air and ground assault against Hamas-led fighters in Gaza has forced many Palestinians to flee their homes, seeking safety. But safe places are hard to find, as VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jabaliya.
Video

Video Rapid Spread of Ebola in West Africa Prompts Global Alert

Across West Africa, health officials are struggling to keep up with what the World Health Organization describes as the worst ebola outbreak on record. The virus has killed hundreds of people this year. U.S. President Barack Obama and other world leaders are watching the developments closely as they weigh what actions, if any, are needed to help contain the disease.
Video

Video Michelle Obama: Young Africans Need to Embrace Women's Rights

U.S. first lady Michelle Obama urged some of Africa's best and brightest to advocate for women's rights in their home countries. As VOA's Pam Dockins explains, Obama spoke to some 500 participants of the Young African Leaders Initiative, a six-week U.S.-based training and development program.
Video

Video Immigrant Influx on Texas Border Heats Up Political Debate

Immigrants from Central America continue to cross the U.S.-Mexico border in south Texas, seeking asylum in the United States, as officials grapple with ways to deal with the problem and provide shelter for thousands of minors among the illegal border crossers. As VOA's Greg Flakus reports from Houston, the issue is complicated by internal U.S. politics and U.S. relations with the troubled nations that immigrants are fleeing.
Video

Video Study: Latino Students Most Segregated in California

Even though legal school segregation ended in the United States 60 years ago, one study finds segregation still occurs in the U.S. based on income and race. The University of California Los Angeles Civil Rights Project finds that students in California are more segregated by race than ever before, especially Latinos. Elizabeth Lee reports for VOA from Los Angeles.

AppleAndroid