Britain says Hezbollah pullout 'extremely serious'

12th January 2011, Comments 0 comments

Britain said Hezbollah's withdrawal from the Lebanese government Wednesday was "extremely serious" and could have "grave implications" for stability across the Middle East.

Foreign Secretary William Hague condemned any attempt to undermine the United Nations probe into the 2005 assassination of former Lebanese premier Rafiq Hariri.

"This is an extremely serious development which could have grave implications for Lebanon and for regional stability," Hague said in a statement.

"I call on all parties to work together for a peaceful resolution of the crisis caused by Hezbollah's decision to withdraw from government."

He added: "I condemn the continuing attempts to undermine the Special Tribunal for Lebanon, which must be allowed to carry out its work without hindrance or impediment.

"Justice needs to be done and there must be an end to impunity for political assassinations in Lebanon."

Lebanon's government collapsed after the powerful Shiite party Hezbollah and its allies resigned from the cabinet over the UN investigation, plunging the country into its worst political crisis since 2008.

© 2011 AFP

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