The UN Security Council issued a veiled criticism of Hezbollah on Friday without naming the Iran-backed group, calling on all “Lebanese parties” to disassociate themselves from external conflicts.
“The members of the Security Council called upon all Lebanese parties to implement a tangible policy of disassociation from any external conflicts, as an important priority, as spelled out in previous declarations, in particular the 2012 Baabda Declaration,” a statement from the Security Council said.
The Baabda Declaration was adopted by the Lebanese government under former President Michel Sleiman and called for abstaining from intervening in any conflicts outside of Lebanon’s borders.
Hezbollah has publicly admitted and boasted about its participation in the Syrian war, propping up the Assad regime for years since the fighting broke out.
The group, which dubs itself as a resistance to Israel and to so-called American projects in the region, is also believed to be aiding Yemen’s Houthis and Iran-backed militias in Iraq.
The Security Council also condemned the repeated attacks against UN peacekeepers in the Hezbollah strongholds of south Lebanon.
Members of the Security Council said justice was needed against the “perpetrators of those incidents in accordance with the Lebanese law and consistent with Security Council resolution 2589 (2021).”
Separately, the members of the Council called for “a swift, independent, impartial, thorough, and transparent investigation” into the Beirut blast in August 2020.
Hezbollah and its Shia allies, Amal Movement, have been blocking all efforts by the lead judge tasked with investigating the explosion.
Meanwhile, Lebanon continues to suffer from one of the worst economic and financial collapses in history, according to World Bank officials.
Hezbollah and Amal blocked cabinet meetings for nearly three months over their opposition to the Beirut Port blast investigations.
“As the Lebanese population is facing dire needs and has expressed legitimate aspirations for reforms, elections and justice, the members of the Security Council urged expeditious and effective decisions by the Government to initiate measures, including the swift adoption of an appropriate budget for 2022 that would enable the quick conclusion of an agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF),” the Security Council said. “Moreover, they reiterated with urgency the need to implement previously outlined, tangible reforms which are necessary to help the Lebanese population.”
Billions of dollars of aid have been pledged to Lebanon for years but are contingent upon reforms to combat corruption and mismanagement. Lebanese officials have not implemented promised reforms.
Parliamentary elections are slated for May, with presidential elections to take place after.
“The members of the Security Council underlined the importance of holding free, fair, transparent and inclusive elections as scheduled on May 15, 2022, ensuring the full, equal and meaningful participation of women as candidates and voters in the election.”
They also called on the government to enable the Supervisory Commission for Elections to carry out its mandate, “notably by providing it with adequate resources and initiating the process of nominating candidates.”
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