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Hezbollah Blasts US Criticism of Its Role in Lebanon’s Gov’t

The Lebanese Hezbollah Resistance Movement has lambasted remarks made by US Envoy to Beirut Elizabeth Richard about the role the movement plays in Lebanon's new government.

Hezbollah’s Thursday statement came after Richard said during a meeting with Lebanese Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri on Tuesday that Washington had “concern over the growing role in the cabinet of an organization that continues to maintain a militia that is not under the control of the government.”

In the new cabinet, two ministries out of the total 30 ministries are headed by Hezbollah lawmakers. The health ministry, which has the fourth largest budget in the state, is also headed by Jamil Jabak, who is close to the resistance movement, but not a member of it, Press TV reported.

The statement issued by Hezbollah lawmakers hit back at Richard’s provocative comments, saying, “The negative American position on Hezbollah, which American ambassadors are eager to repeat after meeting with any official in Lebanon, is rejected and condemned.”

The US stance, the statement added, “violates national sovereignty and ignores a legitimate right in international law – the right to self-defense and to resist every threat and aggression” and is biased towards “the terrorist entity” of Israel.

Lebanon announced the formation of a coalition government last month after much debate over the line-up of the cabinet, ending months of wrangling amid fears of a major economic collapse. On Friday, Lebanon’s parliament approved the government by giving it a confidence vote.

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