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US Vows Support for STL, Accuses Hizbullah of 'Intimidation'

The United States on Friday vowed support for the Special Tribunal for Lebanon, accusing Hizbullah of "intimidation" in urging a boycott.

Hizbullah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah on Thursday warned all Lebanese not to help investigators probing the 2005 killing of ex-PM Rafik Hariri, saying that such cooperation "contributes to the assault on the Resistance."

"Nasrallah's remarks are an indication of how Hizbullah does not have the interest of all the Lebanese people in mind," U.S. State Department spokesman Philip Crowley told reporters.

"It has a narrow agenda and we will do everything that we can to help the Lebanese government and Lebanese people resist this obvious intimidation," he said.

Crowley called the Special Tribunal for Lebanon "vitally important" for the country's future, but rejected accusations that the United States wanted to affect its findings.

"We are committed to support the work of the tribunal and will do everything that we can, not to influence it, just to give it the opportunity to continue its work," Crowley said.

His remarks come a day after the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, Susan Rice, accused Hizbullah's main supporters Syria and Iran of fuelling tensions in Lebanon through illicit arms supplies.

Crowley said the United States was "concerned by the increase of tension" in Lebanon and accused unnamed other forces of "trying to undermine the Lebanese government and Lebanese sovereignty."(AFP)


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