U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Tuesday said the United States welcomed the conviction by a U.N.-backed court of a Hezbollah member of conspiring to kill former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik al-Hariri in a 2005 bombing.
In a statement, Pompeo also slammed Hezbollah’s ‘exploitation’ of the financial system of Lebanon, which is reeling from the aftermath of the huge Aug. 4 explosion, and said the degradation of Lebanese institutions jeopardized the country’s financial well-being and potential recovery.
Israel’s foreign ministry reacted to the verdict in the case of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik al-Hariri’s assassination by saying Hezbollah had “taken hostage” the future of the Lebanese people.
“The ruling of the tribunal that investigated the murder of Prime Minister Hariri and which was made public today is unequivocal. The Hezbollah terrorist group and its personnel were involved in the murder and in obstructing the investigation,” an Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesperson said in a statement.
“Hezbollah has taken hostage the future of the Lebanese in the service of foreign interests. The countries of the world must take action against this terrorist group in order to assist Lebanon in liberating itself from this menace.
“Hezbollah’s military build-up, its efforts to set up a precision-guided missile arsenal, and its actions endanger the entire region.”