Le­banese for­eign min­is­ter sum­mons US en­voy in grow­ing row over her at­tack on Hezbol­lah

Arab News - - Front Page - Na­jia Hous­sari Beirut

The US Am­bas­sador to Le­banon has been sum­moned to the For­eign Min­istry in Beirut on Mon­day amid a grow­ing furor over the en­voy’s crit­i­cism of Hezbol­lah.

The row be­gan when the am­bas­sador, Dorothy Shea, told the Saudi-owned news chan­nel Al-Ha­dath that the US had “grave con­cerns about the role of Hezbol­lah, a des­ig­nated ter­ror­ist or­ga­ni­za­tion.”

She added: “It has sy­phoned off bil­lions of dol­lars that should have gone into gov­ern­ment cof­fers so that the gov­ern­ment can pro­vide ba­sic ser­vices to its peo­ple. It has ob­structed some of the re­forms the Le­banese econ­omy so des­per­ately needs.”

Mo­hamad Mazeh, a judge in the south­ern city of Tyre, was widely ridiculed on Satur­day when he ruled that the en­voy’s com­ments in­cited sec­tar­ian strife, and is­sued an or­der ban­ning the me­dia from re­port­ing any­thing she said for a year. Ju­di­cial sources said the judge’s rul­ing had no le­gal force, the US State De­part­ment de­scribed it as “pa­thetic” and on Sun­day Le­banese me­dia ig­nored it. Lo­cal TV sta­tions broad­cast new com­ments from the am­bas­sador in which she de­scribed the judge’s de­ci­sion as “un­for­tu­nate.” “I was con­tacted yes­ter­day af­ter­noon by a high-rank­ing and well-placed of­fi­cial in the Le­banese gov­ern­ment who apol­o­gized, and said this rul­ing did not have proper stand­ing,” Shea said. The of­fi­cial told her the gov­ern­ment would “take the nec­es­sary steps to re­verse it.”

BACK­GROUND

The row be­gan when US Am­bas­sador Dorothy Shea told the Al-Ha­dath news chan­nel that the US had ‘grave con­cerns about the role of Hezbol­lah.’

Reuters

Le­banon’s Pres­i­dent Michel Aoun with US Am­bas­sador Dorothy Shea dur­ing a re­cent meet­ing. Her strong crit­i­cism of Hezbol­lah has caused an up­roar.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Saudi Arabia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.