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

FIFA Indictments Put Gold Cup Tournament Under Cloud

Experts say US indictments could lead to charges of other world soccer officials, and lead to major shakeup in sport's governance More

Seoul Sponsors Korean Unification Fair

Border communities promoted the benefits of increased cooperation and North Korean defectors shared their stories More

Video VOA EXCLUSIVE: Iraq President Vows to Fight IS 'Until They Are Killed or We Die'

In wide-ranging interview with VOA Persian service reporter, Fuad Masum describes conflict as new type of fight that will take time to win 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.
Expelled from Pakistan, Afghan Refugees Return to Increased Hardshipi
X
Ayesha Tanzeem
May 28, 2015 6:48 PM
Undocumented refugees returning to Afghanistan from Pakistan have no jobs, no support system, and no home return to, and international aid agencies say they and the government are overwhelmed and under-resourced. Ayesha Tanzeem has more from Kabul.
Video

Video Expelled from Pakistan, Afghan Refugees Return to Increased Hardship

Undocumented refugees returning to Afghanistan from Pakistan have no jobs, no support system, and no home return to, and international aid agencies say they and the government are overwhelmed and under-resourced. Ayesha Tanzeem has more from Kabul.
Video

Video Britain Makes Controversial Move to Crack Down on Extremism

Britain is moving to tighten controls on extremist rhetoric, even when it does not incite violence or hatred -- a move that some are concerned might unduly restrict basic freedoms. It is an issue many countries are grappling with as extremist groups gain power in the Middle East, fueled in part by donations and fighters from the West. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video Floodwaters Recede in Houston, but Rain Continues

Many parts of Texas are recovering from one of the worst natural disasters to hit the southwestern state. Heavy rains on Monday and early Tuesday caused rivers to swell in eastern and central Texas, washing away homes and killing at least 13 people. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Houston, floodwaters are receding slowly in the country's fourth-largest city, and there likely is to be more rain in the coming days.
Video

Video 3D Printer Makes Replica of Iconic Sports Car

Cars with parts made by 3D printers are already on the road, but engineers are still learning about this new technology. While testing the possibility of printing an entire car, researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy recently created an electric-powered replica of an iconic sports roadster. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Al-Shabab Recruitment Drive Still on In Kenya

The al-Shabab militants that have long battled for control of Somalia also have recruited thousands of young people in Kenya, leaving many families disconsolate. Mohammed Yusuf recently visited the Kenyan town of Isiolo, and met with relatives of those recruited, as well as a many who have helped with the recruiting.
Video

Video US Voters Seek Answers From Presidential Candidates on IS Gains

The growth of the Islamic State militant group in Iraq and Syria comes as the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign kicks off in the Midwest state of Iowa.   As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, voters want to know how the candidates would handle recent militant gains in the Middle East.
Video

Video A Small Oasis on Kabul's Outskirts Provides Relief From Security Tensions

When people in Kabul want to get away from the city and relax, many choose Qargha Lake, a small resort on the outskirts of Kabul. Ayesha Tanzeem visited and talked with people about the precious oasis.
Video

Video Film Festival Looks at Indigenous Peoples, Culture Conflict

A recent Los Angeles film festival highlighted the plight of people caught between two cultures. Mike O'Sullivan has more on the the Garifuna International Film Festival, a Los Angeles forum created by a woman from Central America who wants the world to know more about her culture.
Video

Video Kenyans Lament Losing Sons to al-Shabab

There is agony, fear and lost hope in the Kenyan town of Isiolo, a key target of a new al-Shabab recruitment drive. VOA's Mohammed Yusuf visits Isiolo to speak with families and at least one man who says he was a recruiter.
Video

Video Scientists Say Plankton More Important Than Previously Thought

Tiny ocean creatures called plankton are mostly thought of as food for whales and other large marine animals, but a four-year global study discovered, among other things, that plankton are a major source of oxygen on our planet. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Kenya’s Capital Sees Rise in Shisha Parlors

In Kenya, the smoking of shisha, a type of flavored tobacco, is the latest craze. Patrons are flocking to shisha parlors to smoke and socialize. But the practice can be addictive and harmful, though many dabblers may not realize the dangers, according to a new review. Lenny Ruvaga has more on the story for VOA from Nairobi, Kenya.
Video

Video Iowa Family's Sacrifice Shaped US Military Service for Generations

Few places in America have experienced war like Waterloo. This small town in the Midwest state of Iowa became famous during World War II not for what it accomplished, but what it lost. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the legacy of one family’s sacrifice is still a reminder today of the real cost of war for all families on the homefront.

VOA Blogs