Hezbollah Leader Nasrallah Snubs UN Envoy

Hezbollah allies in Lebanon say Nasrallah refused to meet UN Syria envoy last week, sending deputy instead; local political tensions high.

Ari Yashar,

Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah
Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah
Reuters

Sources in the Hezbollah-led ruling March 8 Alliance of Lebanese political parties revealed that Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah refused UN special envoy to Syria Staffan de Mistura's request to meet last Thursday, instead sending his deputy Sheikh Naim Qassem

Hezbollah views the request by the UN envoy to meet Nasrallah as a victory to the terrorist organization, according to the London-based Arabic-language Asharq Al-Awsat paper as cited by Yedioth Aharonoth.

The UN move to meet with the leader of the Iran-proxy terror group has raised eyebrows, particularly since Hezbollah's "military wing" was added to the European Union's (EU) official terror list last July. Despite that, reports last month hinted that even the US has been providing indirect military aid to Hezbollah.

After the meeting with Nasrallah's deputy Qassem in his Beirut office, de Mistura said his visit to the terror group was part of consultations with all parties to find a "political solution" to problems in the Middle East. He added that he agreed with the terror group that a Syrian solution should be political - despite Hezbollah's sending thousands of troops to fight for President Bashar Assad.

Hezbollah has also sworn to destroy Israel, and just two weeks ago wounded IDF soldiers with two explosives set on the border. In response, Israel asked the UN to demand the disarmament of Hezbollah - instead, the UN apparently sent an envoy to talk with Nasrallah about Syria where his group is fighting.

In fact, a recent report from the fighting in Syria has proven that fears of Hezbollah terror tunnels into Israel are well founded, as rebel groups there have used such tunnels against Assad's forces in the rocky terrain that is similar to that of the Israeli-Lebanese border.

Political unrest against Hezbollah's alliance

De Mistura last Thursday also called for political unity in Lebanon while meeting with the terror group, saying "the Lebanese political environment should be stabilizing the sooner and the better."

That "stability" showed further signs of cracking, after criticism against Hezbollah was leveled on Saturday by Interior Minister Nouhad Machnouk of the Future Movement led by MP Saad Hariri, the largest member of the March 14 Alliance opposing Hezbollah's ruling alliance.

Hariri is the son of assassinated former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri, who was killed by a car bomb in 2005 that has been blamed on Hezbollah.

Speaking on Saturday at a memorial service for intelligence chief Brig. Gen. Wissam al-Hasan, who was killed in a Beirut car bomb attack two years ago that has also been attributed to Hezbollah, Machnouk struck out at the terror group, reports the Lebanese Daily Star.

Machnouk criticized "a Lebanese group," namely Hezbollah, "that believes that its capabilities are greater than Lebanon, but it cannot deny that the hefty price of those capabilities must be paid by all the Lebanese."

His criticism focused on Hezbollah's involvement in the Syrian civil war, a policy which has come home to roost with recent attacks in Lebanon by the Islamic State (ISIS) and Nusra Front.

The interior minister added that investigations are "on the verge of discovering the truth behind Hasan’s assassination," pointing to evidence possibly emerging in the near future linking Hezbollah to the car bomb attack.




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