U.S. Warns Hizbullah Not to Funnel Ministry's Money

A senior U.S. official has warned Lebanon's Hezbollah against exploiting the position of the Health Ministry to funnel funds to institutions affiliated with the Shiite militant group.

The remarks by Marshall Billingslea, the U.S. Treasury's assistant secretary on terror financing, came as Lebanese political factions agreed on Thursday to form a new government.

The development broke a nine-month deadlock that deepened Lebanon's economic woes.

Billingslea spoke to local journalists at the U.S. Embassy in Beirut.

Hezbollah has three seats in Lebanon's new Cabinet, including the Health Ministry.

The English-language Daily Star quoted Billingslea as saying that "if we see that Hezbollah exploits" ministries to funnel money and "other terrorist agendas, then we have significant problems."

He declined to elaborate what the U.S. Treasury would do in that case.

Source: Associated Press

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