Saudi Foreign Minister: Hezbollah Hijacked the System in Lebanon

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Saudi Foreign Minister: Hezbollah Hijacked the System in Lebanon

The foreign minister of Saudi Arabia Adel Al-Jubeir said Thursday that Hezbollah has hijacked the system in Lebanon and is spreading a malign influence throughout the Middle East, accusing the party of putting "roadblocks" in front of Hariri at every opportunity.

"The situation in Lebanon is unfortunate. It is a result of Hezbollah's activities supported by Iran," he said in an interview on CNBC.

"Hezbollah continues to maintain its militia even though it should hand over its weapons. There can be no militia outside the scope of government institutions."

"Hezbollah has been the instrument that Iran uses to dominate Lebanon. The instrument that Iran uses to interfere in Syria with Hamas and with the Houthis. And so we see Hezbollah's mischief all over the region."

He said many countries want to push back against Hezbollah but would not be drawn either way on whether Saudi Arabia was now working with Israel.

Asked if Saudi Arabia would consider taking direct action against Hezbollah, Al-Jubeir noted that the world has to make sure that Hezbollah is designated as a terrorist organization, saying that there can be no difference between a political wing and the military wing.

"This is not, this is a bird with one body and one mind. And Hezbollah needs to be blacklisted. The world needs to take actions in terms of curtailing their activities and the world needs to push back against them wherever they operate," he stressed.

"We cannot allow Lebanon to be a platform from which harm comes to Saudi Arabia. The Lebanese people are innocent. The Lebanese people have been dominated by Hezbollah and we need to find a way to help the Lebanese people come out from under the thumb of Hezbollah."

Asked if his country is considering cutting diplomatic ties with Lebanon, the Saudi FM stated that various options are being mulled and that the Kingdom is consulting with its friends and allies around the world to see what are the most effective ways to deal with this issue.

"The U.S. wants to help the Lebanese government be strong and be independent. So do we. The U.S. wants to curtail Hezbollah's influence in Lebanon. So do we. The U.S. wants to push back hard against Hezbollah and its terrorist activities and its criminal activities. And so do we, so I don't see a difference between the positions of our two governments."

"We have a large number of countries around the world if not all countries, with the exception of possibly Iran, that are against Hezbollah's terrorist activities and that are against Hezbollah hijacking the Lebanese state. So we're not alone in this," Al-Jubeir affirmed.

Source: CNBC