Lebanese protesters denounce US interference at Beirut rally
Dozens of people have staged a rally in Lebanon to express their bitter resentment at Washington’s interference in their country’s domestic affairs and the latest remarks by the US ambassador to Beirut against the Hezbollah resistance movement.
On Monday, demonstrators converged outside the Foreign Ministry building in the Achrafieh district of Beirut, amid a heavy security presence. The protest rally came at the invitation of national forces and civil society activists, Arabic-language al-Mayadeen television news network reported.
The participants emphasized the significant role of Hezbollah in the Lebanese society.
They said vague positions of some political factions in Lebanon vis-à-vis the United States would not serve Lebanon’s interests, adding that they do not need lectures from US authorities as they have contributed to the economic blockade of Lebanon.
The protesters highlighted that the US’ economic blockade of Lebanon and Syria is simply due to their support for the resistance front.
The protesters also trampled on the photos of the US envoy, Dorothy Shea for her meddlesome remarks.
“We remind the American ambassador [Dorothy Shea] of people’s right to defend their sovereignty,” they said, stressing, “Americans will not be able to impose their wills” on Lebanon as it is a dignified nation that supports resistance.
The protest came at the same time that Shea was summoned to the Lebanese Foreign Ministry, and was meeting with Foreign Minister Nassif Hitti.
Meanwhile, scores of Hezbollah supporters protested on Sunday in Beirut's southern suburb of Dahieh on Sunday against the US ambassador to Lebanon for her remarks blaming Hezbollah for the economic crisis in the country.
Also on Saturday, Lebanese judge Mohamad Mazeh in the southern city of Tyre banned local and foreign media outlets in the country from interviewing the US ambassador to Beirut for a year, after Shea told Saudi-owned al-Hadath television news network that Washington has “great concerns” over Hezbollah’s role in the government.
Mazeh said Shea's comments incited sectarian strife and threatened social peace.
Hezbollah’s growing popularity in the Arab and Muslim world has been a matter of serious concern for the Tel Aviv regime and its Western allies since the resistance movement shattered the Israeli military’s myth of invincibility during a 33-day military offensive on Lebanon back in the summer of 2006.
The resistance movement’s heroic defense as well as its vehement opposition to any foreign intervention in Lebanon’s domestic affairs have turned the group into a major stakeholder in the country’s political and military domains.
Moreover, many observers have described Hezbollah as the most powerful Arab army in the wake of its engagement in the fight against foreign-sponsored militancy in neighboring Syria.
Irked by the resistance movement’s popularity, the United States and its Persian Gulf allies have imposed sanctions on Lebanese economic assets and figures for alleged cooperation with Hezbollah.