Lebanon’s Foreign Ministry Denies U.S. Magazine Report
Lebanon’s Foreign Ministry on Sunday slammed as “unfounded” allegations published in the American Foreign Policy magazine claiming that Hassan Hijazi, the Lebanese charge d’affairs in Asunción, Paraguay is attempting to block the extradition of an alleged Hizbullah financier to the United States, the Ministry said in a statement.
“An article published in the FP magazine, in which the charge d’affairs in the Embassy of Lebanon in Paraguay, Hassan Hijazi, is accused of obstructing the return of a citizen to the United States on charges of drug trafficking and laundering of funds for Hizbullah is inaccurate," the Ministry said in the statement.
The statement added “the duty of the diplomat is to follow up the consular affairs of the community. The content of the article, linking the intervention of the Chargé d'Affaires and Foreign Minister Jebran Bassil to the case are unfounded and irrelevant to reality.”
The Ministry urged “media outlets to stick to accuracy before publishing any piece of information.”
FP magazine published an article on June 15 alleging that the “Lebanese Embassy in Paraguay is attempting to block the extradition of Hizbullah financier Nader Mohamad Farhat.”
It claimed that on “May 17, Paraguayan authorities arrested Farhat for his role in an alleged $1.3 million drug money laundering scheme. Farhat is alleged to be a member of the Business Affairs Component, the branch of Hizbullah’s External Security Organization in charge of running overseas illicit finance and drug trafficking operations.”
“U.S. authorities want to extradite Farhat,” it added, alleging that “Hijazi has sent a letter to Paraguay’s attorney general intimating that he should reject the U.S. request to extradite Farhat.”