Friday Dec 02, 201102:00 PM GMT
Hezbollah opposes Lebanon funding STL
Fri Dec 2, 2011 2:3PM
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Hezbollah Secretary General Seyyed Hassan Nasrallah has denounced the Lebanese Prime Minister's decision to fund a US-backed tribunal investigating the murder of the country's ex-premier.

Describing the Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL) as illegal and unconstitutional, Nasrallah said on Thursday that Hezbollah strongly opposes funding the tribunal and that Prime Minister Najib Mikati made the decision without consulting the cabinet and parliament.

''We continue to reject any form of funding or dealing with it. If the cabinet session was held addressing STL funding, we would have voted against it, and the same matter would have happened if it was addressed at the Parliament. We also refuse to pay the money from the Lebanese people pockets,'' Nasrallah said.

''I disagree with Mikati's logic on his considerations, Mikati embarrassed himself too much when he committed himself to the financing of the tribunal apart from the cabinet's desire, despite his knowledge that the majority of ministers refuse funding it,'' he added.

The Hezbollah Chief, however, said that the resistance movement would continue its cooperation with the Mikati government and that the decision would not harm relations between the two sides.

''We will not cause a problem. We will give priority to the higher national interest,'' Nasrallah said.

He added that Hezbollah has never pressured Mikati over STL funding and that Mikati has decided to pay Lebanon's share of funds for STL from the Higher Relief Commission budget, which does not require cabinet and parliamentary approval.

Nasrallah criticized the opposition March 14 Movement for pressuring Mikati into paying Lebanon's share of funds for the US-backed tribunal investigating the 2005 assassination of former premier Rafiq Hariri.

Mikati had earlier threatened to resign if the cabinet did not approve STL funding after the West warned that the UN sanctions could await Lebanon if Beirut fails to fund the tribunal.

Hezbollah has repeatedly dismissed the tribunal as a US-Israeli plot aimed at undermining resistance and sowing discord in the country.

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