THREATS FROM HEZBOLLAH
The American ambassador in Lebanon discussed recent Hezbollah threats against the U.S. Embassy in Beirut in talks this week with a leading politician backed by the terrorist group, which dominates the new government.
Ambassador Maura Connelly told Lebanese reporters that she expressed “concerns regarding accusations made by his coalition partner [Hezbollah] against the U.S. Embassy” when she met Wednesday with Michel Aoun, leader of the Free Patriotic Movement.
“The U.S. Embassy is a center for spying and recruiting Israeli agents,” he was quoted as saying on yalibnan.com, an independent Internet news site in Lebanon.
“These are the same kind of empty accusations that we have repeatedly heard from Hezbollah,” an embassy spokesman said last week. “There is no substance to his accusation. It appears as if Nasrallah was addressing internal problems within Hezbollah with which we have nothing to do.”
Hezbollah-backed Cabinet ministers forced the collapse of the Lebanese government in January after a U.N. investigation appeared ready to accuse the terrorist group of involvement in the 2005 assassination of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri.
A government formed later in January is dominated by members of parliament linked to Hezbollah. The U.N.-backed Special Tribunal for Lebanon issued an indictment and four arrest warrants Thursday, but did not disclose the names of the suspects.
INDIA NERVOUS OVER NUKES
The United States remains strongly committed to a landmark nuclear power deal with India, despite an international trade cartel’s move to toughen the sale of nuclear technology, the U.S. ambassador in New Delhi said Thursday.
In his farewell remarks on his last day in office, Ambassador Timothy J. Roemer tried to reassure a nervous Indian government that President Obama will abide by the atomic energy agreement negotiated under President George W. Bush.
“The White House and the Obama administration strongly and vehemently supports the clean waiver for India,” Mr. Roemer said, referring to India’s exemption from specific rules by the 46-nation Nuclear Suppliers Group.
The Bush agreement allows the United States to sell nuclear power technology to India, even though New Delhi refuses to sign the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. India, in return, agreed to allow international inspections of its civilian reactors, but not its nuclear-weapons program.