Obama recommits to Hezbollah disarming


WASHINGTON (JTA) — The Obama administration recommitted the United States to international efforts to disarm Hezbollah.

In separate statements marking the fourth anniversary of the assassination of Rafik Hariri, a former Lebanese prime minister who spearheaded opposition to Syria’s occupation, the White House and the State Department reasserted commitment to "full implementation" of U.N. Security Council resolution 1701, which ended Israel’s 2006 war with Hezbollah in Lebanon.

That resolution mandated the disarming of Hezbollah; instead, Hezbollah has since rearmed and is more influential than ever in Lebanon’s government.

The United States continues "its unwavering support for full implementation of UN Security Council Resolutions 1701 and 1559, including their calls for all arms in Lebanon to be brought under state control and the delineation of Lebanon’s borders," the State Department said.

Resolution 1559, passed in September 2004, also called for the disarmament of militias as well as the removal of foreign forces.

Syria ignored the resolution until suspicions of its involvement in Hariri’s assassination on Feb. 14, 2005 led the United States and France to galvanize international pressure on the Assad regime to end its three-decade occupation of Lebanon.

The statements also re-committed the Obama administration to the U.N.’s special tribunal investigating the assassination, pledging $6 million to its operations this year.

Syria has agitated against the tribunal, fearing it could implicate the Syrian leadership in Hariri’s murder.

Recommended from JTA