Prime Minister designate Najib Mikati on Tuesday responded to US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s statement earlier in the day by saying that Lebanon will maintain ties will all countries.
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton warned Tuesday that formation of a Hezbollah-dominated government in Lebanon will mean changes in the U.S. relations with the country.
The United States deems Iranian-backed Hezbollah a terrorist organization.
“We will maintain ties with everyone and we are not about to confront any party ,” Mikati said, shortly after Clinton stated that a Hezbollah-controlled government in Lebanon would impact its ties with the United States.
“Lebanon needs the support of all friendly states, but we also need stability to build this country,” he added.
Mikati also said that he will seek to form a cabinet with the Future Movement and its allies.
He added that the Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL) is a reality and cannot be abolished.
“Matters of disputes can only be resolved through dialogue.” He said
Hezbollah chief Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah also admitted last week that STL cannot be abolished but reportedly demanded that Mikati should adopt a 5 point plan before nominating him as the country’s PM.
The five point plan calls for:
1- Withdrawing the cooperation protocol between Lebanon and the Special Tribunal for Lebanon STL) .
2- Withdrawing the Lebanese judges from the STL
3- Halting the funding of the tribunal
4- Referring the false witnesses file to the Lebanese judiciary council
5- Bolstering Lebanese-Syrian ties
Mikati was a staunch ally of Hariri during the 2009 parliamentary elections. His change of position has puzzled some Sunnis.
“In this time of crisis and amid political struggles occurring on the ground, I decided that there must be a project to save the country,” Mikati said at a news conference on Monday.
Mikati dodged a question on the 5-point plan issue on Monday, but observers believe that Hezbollah would not have supported Mikati’s election without a guarantee that he would discredit the tribunal.
In interview with AFP on Tuesday Mikati said he was nominated by Hezbollah only to protect the resistance, in reference to Hezbollah.
“My nomination by Hezbollah does not make me committed to any political stance other than protecting the Resistance.”