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U.S.: When Would the Lebanese Say that Hizbullah is Pointing a Gun at their Heads?
 
 
 
 
 
 
08-01-2011
 
The U.S. administration warned Lebanon's March 14 camp against being blackmailed by Hizbullah to thwart the functioning of the international tribunal.
"We hear statements from some Lebanese officials from a certain political background that sound like blackmail," a high-ranking U.S. official told pan-Arab daily Asharq al-Awsat in remarks published Saturday.

"When would the Lebanese say that Hizbullah is pointing a gun at their heads?" he asked.

The official stressed that a plot against justice in ex-Premier Rafik Hariri's assassination case is rejected by the Lebanese and their friends.

"All those monitoring the situation in Lebanon for years know that tension in Lebanon could soon turn to violence and people are worried," he said. "At the same time I don't want to exaggerate these fears."

About relations with Saudi Arabia, the official said Washington has common objectives over the situation in Lebanon. He stressed that ties between the two countries "were strong to the extent that" the U.S. would know about any possible deal between Riyadh and Damascus over Lebanon.

When asked about U.S. contacts with Syria over the tribunal, the official told Asharq al-Awsat: "We hear from the Syrians directly that their interest lies in a stable Lebanon and that Syria would be the first affected from instability in Lebanon."

However, the official expressed concern over the Syrian judiciary's accusation of 33 Lebanese and foreign personalities of obstructing the probe into Hariri's Feb. 2005 murder.

The accusations that have targeted several of Hariri's allies "are unreasonable," and contribute to tension in Lebanon, he said.
 
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