US Envoy: Lebanese Cabinet Does Not Reflect Voters’ Will

Warns Current Government a Threat to 'Democratic Participation'

A new statement issued today by US Ambassador to Lebanon Maura Connelly condemned the current Lebanese government, insisting that the cabinet of Prime Minister Najib Mikati reflected not the will of the Lebanese voters, but of the Syrian and Iranian governments.

Mikati formed the current cabinet earlier this month amid threats from the US to revoke all aid to the country. Mikati’s faction took the place of a pro-US faction which lost a no-confidence vote earlier this year.

Ironically while Mikati’s faction includes Hezbollah, which is close with Syria and Iran, the biggest impact on the most recent national election was from the US, when Vice President Joe Biden rushed to the nation at the last minute to campaign for the Hariri bloc, warning Lebanese voters that choosing the Hezbollah-dominated faction would mean severe punishment.

The Hariri government’s US endorsement didn’t actually net it much support, however, as US officials repeatedly condemned the government and revoked much of their aid throughout the second half of 2010.

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Author: Jason Ditz

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