US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said on Wednesday that Hezbollah's bid to undermine a UN-backed tribunal into the murder of ex-Premier Rafik Hariri "will not work."
"We view what happened today as a transparent effort by those forces inside Lebanon as well as interests outside Lebanon to subvert justice and undermine Lebanon's stability and progress," Clinton told a press conference.
"We believe that the work of the special tribunal must go forward, so justice can be served and impunity ended," she said, flanked by Qatari Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Sheikh Hamad bin Jassem bin Jabr al-Thani.
"We believe that the leaders of Lebanon have an ongoing responsibility to serve the interests of their own people, not outside forces," she said apparently referring to Hezbollah allies Iran and Syria.
"Trying to bring the government down as a way to undermine the special tribunal is an abdication of responsibility but it also will not work," Clinton said after talks with Gulf Arabs in Qatar.
She said the UN tribunal was supported by many governments, including that of the United States. "Its work will continue," she said.
Lebanon's unity government collapsed after Hezbollah and its allies pulled their 10 ministers from cabinet and one minister close to President Michel Sleiman announced his withdrawal, providing the necessary number of resignations for the government to collapse.
The cabinet’s collapse is over the Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL).
The Shia group Hezbollah and its allies have for months been pressing Prime Minister Saad Hariri to disavow the STL on the grounds that it is part of a US-Israeli plot that will indict Hezbollah members.
Hezbollah forces Lebanese government collapse