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Lebanese Government Threatened by Split Over Funding UN Tribunal

Lebanon’s president and other officials are urgently seeking a solution to the government crisis over funding the United Nations Special Tribunal (STL) for Lebanon – the probe into the 2005 assassination of former Prime Minister Rafiq Al-Hariri. A majority of cabinet seats are controlled by Hizbullah, the Iranian/Syrian proxy listed by the US as a terrorist entity, four of whose members have been indicted in the murder. The head of the group, Sheikh Hasan Sayed Na’srallah, has vowed to prevent any cooperation with the STL and has threatened violence against anyone trying to carry out the arrest warrants issued for his minions. Opposition parties and even President Najib Mikati, who owes his position to Hizbullah backing, insist that Lebanon must fulfill its international obligations, including its commitment to fund a large portion of the STL budget – some $36 million. Some believe the cabinet faces dissolution over the issue of STL funding. On Wednesday morning, the Beirut Daily Star reported a solution has been found that provides an alternative source of funding and removes the threat of the cabinet collapsing. No details were given.