Lebanon News

US ambassador acting like 'military ruler': Nasrallah

A man rides a motorbike past a poster depicting Lebanon's Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, near Sidon, Lebanon July 7, 2020. REUTERS/Ali Hashisho

BEIRUT: Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah accused the US ambassador to Beirut of “acting like a military ruler,” and inciting sectarian strife Tuesday evening.

“The US ambassador is inciting Lebanese parties and officials against Hezbollah and its allies, pushing Lebanon toward internal strife and civil war,” Nasrallah said in a televised speech, referencing a diplomatic spat that occurred last week.

"I request that the US ambassador refrains from going on our TV stations and talking about democracy and human rights, because she represents a country that has waged wars, destroyed countries and stolen their resources,” he said.

Nasrallah accused the US Embassy of attempting to “starve Lebanon,” prevent investment in the country and scare off foreign investments, “all of which they are doing on Lebanese territory.”

Hezbollah’s “Loyalty to the Resistance Bloc will be submitting a request to the Foreign Ministry to summon the US ambassador and ask her to adhere to diplomatic protocol and the Vienna Convention,” he said.

The Hezbollah leader called on Lebanese to “rise up” and defend the country against Shea’s actions, asking people to protect Lebanon’s sovereignty as much as they protected press freedoms.

US Ambassador Dorothy Shea was embroiled in a diplomatic spat after a Lebanese judge banned local and foreign media outlets from interviewing the US ambassador to Beirut.

The diplomatic spat came after a decision by Tyre’s Court of Urgent Matters Judge Mohammad Mazeh Saturday to prosecute and suspend for one year the operations of any media outlet in the country that interviewed Shea.

The decision was a result of a TV interview in which Shea slammed Hezbollah and accused Nasrallah of threatening Lebanon’s stability. Shea said Lebanon was reeling from years of corruption of successive governments and accused Hezbollah of siphoning off government funds for its own purposes.

Narallah in his speech expressed pride in the judge’s decision, calling it a “brave response.”

“What would happen if the Lebanese ambassador in Washington commented on Trump's policies?” Nasrallah asked.

 

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