U.S. Weighs Lebanon Aid if Hizbullah Wins Vote

[Reuters] Arshad Mohammed - A victory by Hizbullah, viewed as a "terrorist organization" by Washington, in Sunday's election in Lebanon could lead to a reduction in what has been burgeoning U.S. assistance to the Lebanese armed forces in recent years. The U.S. has given the Lebanese armed forces more than $500 million since 2005. Pollsters expect the "March 8" alliance that includes Iranian- and Syrian-backed Hizbullah to gain a slight edge in the election and to erase the governing Western-backed, anti-Syrian "March 14" coalition's slender majority. The outcome could be a national unity government, albeit one in which Hizbullah has a stronger hand. Given Washington's ban on funding groups that it deems "terrorist," a victory by Hizbullah would present the Obama administration with a judgment call on whether any government Hizbullah helped to form could keep getting U.S. funds.

2009-06-05 06:00:00

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