New York, Beirut – US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley said Friday that the UN peacekeeping force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) was “not doing its job effectively” against Hezbollah.
Haley told reporters in New York that the UNIFIL commander shows “embarrassing lack of understanding” about Hezbollah’s activities.
Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia’s Minister of State for Arab Gulf Affairs Thamer al-Sabhan said on his official Twitter account “the efforts of the Lebanese army and its ability to maintain safety and stability in the nation prove that no one other than legitimate institutions do so.”
“Nationalism, not sectarianism, builds nations,” the minister said.
He made the tweet during his visit to Beirut where he so far met with Prime Minister Saad Hariri, Kataeb Party leader Sami Gemayel and Lebanese Forces chief Samir Gegaea.
The tweet also came as an indirect response to claims made by “Hezbollah” that it is protecting the Lebanese border with Syria.
The Lebanese army has for the past week been battling ISIS on the country’s eastern border with Syria to expel the militants from the area.
Several Lebanese parties that are rivals with Hezbollah launched a wide criticism against the stances recently made by Hezbollah Secretary General Hassan Nasrallah who called for coordination between the Lebanese and Syrian armies.
Nasrallah also made a call for adding the Syrian army to Hezbollah’s already disputed tripartite equation “The Army, the people and the resistance.”
Among his critics were the Future Movement and LF leader Geagea.
A Future statement blasted Nasrallah’s talk about the soldiers taken captive by ISIS in 2014, saying the Hezbollah chief was trying to blackmail the Lebanese government through this issue to get it to coordinate with the Syrian regime.
As for Geagea, he accused Nasrallah of causing harm to the Lebanese army by claiming it was coordinating with the Syrian military and Hezbollah in the “Juroud Dawn” offensive that began last Saturday against ISIS.