Foreign Minister Summons U.S. Ambassador

Foreign Minister Nassif Hitti on Sunday summoned U.S. Ambassador to Lebanon Dorothy Shea to a meeting that will be held at the Ministry at 3:00 pm Monday, the National News Agency said.

NNA said the meeting will tackle "her latest statements."

In remarks to LBCI TV, Hitti confirmed summoning Shea but denied revealing what he will tell her in the meeting.

LBCI had earlier reported that the Minister would tell the Ambassador that "according to the Vienna Convention, an ambassador does not have the right to interfere in the internal affairs of another country."

LBCI added -- before the Minister disavowed the remarks -- that Hitti would also tell Shea that "it is unacceptable for her remarks to contain incitement to the Lebanese against another part of the Lebanese who are taking part in the government."

The move comes after a judge in the southern city of Tyre issued a ruling banning local and foreign media working in the country from airing or publishing locally comments by the U.S. ambassador for a year.

Judge Mohammed Mazeh said he acted after receiving a complaint from a citizen who considered Shea's comments "insulting to the Lebanese people."

During an interview with Saudi-owned news channel Al-Hadath aired on Friday, Shea had said that the United States has "grave concerns about the role of Hizbullah," describing it as "a designated terrorist organization."

"It has siphoned off billions of dollars that should have gone into government coffers so that the government can provide basic services to its people," she said. "It has obstructed some of the economic reforms the Lebanese economy so desperately needs," she added.

Source: Naharnet

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