Thursday, November 03, 2005

Hezbollah accuses U.S. and Israel of manipulating UN reports to stir regional and internal strife

Hezbollah accuses U.S. and Israel of manipulating UN reports to stir regional and internal strife
the report is full of poisonous incitement aimed at ruining relations'

By adenine El-Ghoul
Daily Star staff
Saturday, October 29, 2005

BEIRUT: Hezbollah accused Washington and Israel on Friday of manipulating UN reports to stir internal strife in Lebanon and Syria, while defending Syria and the search for truth and justice by the family of the late Lebanese Premier Rafik Hariri. The party's Secretary General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah lashed out at UN special envoy Terje Roed-Larsen's recently released second report on the implementation of Security Council Resolution 1559, saying, "The report is full of poisonous incitement aimed at ruining the relations between the various Lebanese factions."

Nasrallah was speaking in Beirut's southern suburbs during a massive rally held to mark Jerusalem Day, an honorary holiday created by the late Ayatollah Khomeini to call for the liberation of Palestine.

The sheikh alleged that Larsen's report falsely claimed that the government was committed to implementing Resolution 1559, stressing that the report was full of such lies and was meant to incite the Lebanese people against the Palestinians and Syrians, as well as pit the Lebanese against each other.

"When officials talk to us about their policies, they tell us exactly what they state in their ministerial statement; they are not with 1559, and the Cabinet confirmed this stance in its latest session," he said.

"However, the report claims the officials told Larsen in private just the opposite," he added. "Larsen wants to plant the seeds of suspicions and cause trouble."

Nasrallah further questioned how the report "was leaked to the Israeli press before it was presented to Kofi Annan and the international community."

Commenting on Nasrallah's speech, Annan's spokesman Stephane Dujarric said "Larsen's report is fully at the discretion of UN Security Council members ... We don't want to comment until they discuss Larsen's report on Monday."

Nasrallah criticized the UN report for "justifying all of Israeli border violations" while admonishing the resistance group for responding to violations.

"Larsen's report, just like other similar reports, indicates that the international community is not concerned with protecting the interests of the Palestinians, Lebanese or Arabs in general," he said. "They only serve Israeli and American schemes currently targeting Syria, Lebanon and Palestine."

He continued: "The report includes all the details regarding Lebanese affairs, even those unrelated to his specified mission, but it only mentioned Israel in two lines."

Nasrallah also had criticism for a report released last week by the head of the UN investigation into Hariri's assassination, Detlev Mehlis, from whom he said he had expected "a professional report."

The cleric slammed the report for being composed of "vague phrases that do not even lead to definite conclusions or findings."

"Still," he added, "the United States is using the investigation, which has not yet finished, as an instrument to demand sanctions against Syria."

Damascus has pledged to cooperate with the probe, but criticized its findings as politically biased. Mehlis named several Syrian and Lebanese officials involved in the murder.

Nasrallah commended a statement from Beirut MP Saad Hariri last week which stressed the family would not accept the use of the late premier's death as a political weapon against other countries or parties.

However, Nasrallah called on the family to "object strongly" to the American efforts to wrap up the investigation quickly and accuse Syria.

He also blasted the UN for leaking that a key suspect identified in the report only as "Mr. X" was a key Shiite figure, believing the release was meant to stir sectarian tensions.

"Mehlis was aiming at stirring sectarian problems between the Sunni and the Shiites," he said. "Our response will be to remain as united as we have been so far; unity is the only means to defuse all schemes that aim at spreading

anarchy, war and destruction in our countries."

Huge crowds turned out for the annual rally, waving Hizbullah's yellow and green party flags and red, white and green Lebanese flags as an elaborate military parade wound through the streets. More than 60 unarmed battalion formations dressed in military uniforms paraded past the party's cheering supporters.

Hezbollah-owned Manar television aired a live broadcast of the events, listing the number of those in attendance at half a million.

Smaller similar rallies were held in Tyre in the South and Baalbek in the Bekaa.

Iran marked Jerusalem Day with massive rallies attended by tens of thousands as Iranians shrugged off worldwide condemnation of their president's call on Wednesday for the Jewish state to be wiped "off the map."

Without making explicit reference to Mahmoud Ahmadinejad comments, Nasrallah defended Iran, saying the Islamic Republic "is facing numerous difficulties because of its ideological positions on the Israeli-Arab conflict."

Nasrallah appealed for "an urgent meeting of the Arab League" to "intervene quickly and propose an initiative about the [UN] report and Lebanese-Syrian relations and pressure against Syria."

It seems that the World might be forgetting Sryia's role in the assassination plot; certainly we know, that the UN moves slowly on matters relating to Hezbollah.

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