US envoy warns Lebanon over failure to fund STL


U.S. Ambassador to Lebanon Maura Connelly on Monday voiced the United States’ nconcern that Lebanon would suffer serious consequences if it fails to fulfill its commitments to the Special Tribunal for Lebanon.

She urged Lebanon to “meet all of international obligations” during a meeting with Economy Minister Nicolas Nahhas.

She renewed the commitment of the United States to a stable, sovereign, and independent Lebanon.

Connelly and Nahhas discussed the economic and political situation in Lebanon and the current situation in Syria.

The Ambassador reiterated the United States’ view that it is important to ensure that events in Syria do no create instability or tension in Lebanon.

The current Lebanese government is dominated by the Iranian and Syrian-backed Hezbollah and its allies, who are insisting that the country cease all cooperation with STL.

Last week, PM Najib Mikati made it very clear that he will resign if the cabinet fails to secure funding for the tribunal.

The Special Tribunal for Lebanon was created by the United Nations Security Council in 2007 , at the request of the Government of Lebanon to investigate the 2005 assassination of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri.

On January 12, 2011 Hezbollah and allies with the help of the Shiite minister in the cabinet that represented president Michel Suleiman overthrew the government of former PM Saad Hariri over the Special Tribunal for Lebanon’s imminent indictment.

STL issued the indictments and arrest warrants on June 30. Two of the suspects Badreddine and Ayyash are reportedly senior members of Hezbollah and played leading roles in the assassination while the other two Hezbollah members Hassan Aneissy and Assad Sabra played a supporting role in the execution of the assassination.

“No Lebanese government will be able to carry out any arrests whether in 30 days, 30 years or even 300 years.” Nasrallah said following the announcement of the indictments.

It appears now that STL could also result in the fall of the current government

Lebanon should contribute 49 percent of the STL’s annual funding but so far has not contributed anything in 2011 fiscal year