US warns Lebanon of failing to fund UN tribunal
The United States warned Lebanon on Monday of "serious consequences" if it fails to continue funding a United Nations-backed special tribunal for Lebanon (STL) investigating the 2005 assassination of former premier Rafik Hariri.
US Ambassador Maura Connelly made the statement during a meeting with Lebanese Christian political leader Michel Aoun, who is a main ally of the Lebanese Shiite movement Hezbollah, dpa reported.
"Ambassador Connelly told General Aoun that the US expects Lebanon to meet all of its international obligations, including Lebanon's obligation to cooperate with and fund the special tribunal for Lebanon," a statement issued by the embassy said.
"She expressed the United States' concern that a failure by Lebanon to meet its obligations to the tribunal could lead to serious consequences if Lebanon does not meet its international commitments."
Four Hezbollah members have been indicted by the UN tribunal for alleged involvement in the massive bombing, which killed Hariri and 21 other people. Hezbollah has denied any role.
The Hezbollah-led government and its allies in parliament have been locked in a row with the Western-backed coalition loyal to Hariri over paying for Lebanon's share of the UN tribunal costs.
Lebanon has to pay its share of 32 million dollars for the tribunal in 2011.