U.N. Warns of Syrian War Spillover in Lebanon as U.S. Slams Hizbullah
U.N. Under-Secretary General for Political Affairs Jeffrey Feltman has warned that the spillover of Syria's war continues to be felt in Lebanon as the U.S. Permanent Representative to the U.N. Susan Rice slammed Hizbullah for undermining the country's dissociation policy.
“The spillover of the conflict in Syria continues to be felt in Lebanon,” Feltman told the U.N. Security Council during an open debate on the Middle East Wednesday.
Feltman cited the recent shelling on Lebanese border villages and rocket attacks that have caused deaths and injuries.
The recent assaults were made on the Lebanese eastern region of Hermel and mainly the town of al-Qasr. Syria rebels have fired the shells over Hizbullah's involvement in the war.
The party's gunmen are reportedly helping Syrian regime troops to fight rebels in the town of al-Qusayr that lies near the border with Lebanon.
Feltman said that U.N. chief Ban Ki-moon “calls on all Lebanese parties to respect President (Michel) Suleiman’s wise and courageous disassociation policy designed to help protect Lebanon from spillover from Syria.”
“The Secretary-General, concerned by reports that Lebanese are fighting in Syria both on the side of the regime and on the side of the opposition, hopes that the new government will finds ways to promote better compliance by all sides in Lebanon with the disassociation policy,” he said.
“The conflict in Syria threatens the stability of its neighbors, particularly Lebanon, as demonstrated by recent attacks in Hermel and al-Qasr,” Rice told the Council.
“Hizbullah not only continues to undermine Lebanon from within by violating the government’s policy of disassociation but actively enables Assad to wage war on the Syrian people by providing money, weapons, and expertise to the regime in close coordination with Iran,” she said.
Rice hailed Suleiman’s leadership and said Premier-designate Tammam Salam's nomination “is a positive first step towards forming a new government, a process that must remain Lebanese-led.”
“We encourage Lebanon’s leaders to adhere to the legal and constitutional framework for holding timely parliamentary elections,” she said.
Lebanon's ambassador to the U.N. Nawwaf Salam, who also addressed the Security Council, said Suleiman renewed on Wednesday his rejection of sending arms and fighters to Syria.
“This is not only in conformity of the Baabda Declaration and the dissociation policy but it aims to consolidate the Lebanese national unity and avoid any turmoil in coexistence,” he said.