Karami and Saniora Meet, Disagree on STL Fundingإقرأ هذا الخبر بالعربية
A meeting that brought together the two foes, former Premier Omar Karami and al-Mustaqbal bloc leader Fouad Saniora, came out with no result after they expressed conflicting viewpoints on the funding of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon.
Saniora stressed after the meeting in Beirut on Wednesday the importance of funding the STL, stating that it is a “debt on Lebanon.”
However, Karami ruled out the matter, saying Lebanon “will not fund it.”
The STL probing the assassination of ex-Prime Minister Rafik Hariri had issued arrest warrants against four Hizbullah members, accusing them of being involved in the Feb. 2005 murder.
The Lebanese authorities received at the end of September a message from U.N. chief Ban Ki-Moon requesting Lebanon to pay its $33 million dues.
Asked about the resignation of STL president Judge Antonio Cassese, he said that “it’s a normal matter, he has a long history in this domain…However, he didn’t quit the tribunal, and he remained in the appeals chamber.”
On his part, Karami ruled out the possibility of funding the STL through the cabinet.
He added: “I have heard from Lebanese officials that the funding issue will not pass through the cabinet or the parliament.”
“I don’t know how PM Najib Miqati will fulfill his promises,” Karami remarked.
A dispute recently rose in Lebanon on whether the March 8-dominant government would commit to funding the tribunal. Miqati stressed during his trip to New York last month that Lebanon will pay its share.