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U.S. Maintains Stance On Hizbollah

7 June 2005 -- U.S. President George W. Bush's press secretary says that the United States still considers Lebanon's Hizbollah movement a terrorist organization that should be disarmed

McClellan said on 5 June that the United States' first interest in the Lebanese parliamentary elections that run through 19 June is that they be free and fair.

He said that Hizbolah's political success does not alter U.S. views on terrorist organizations.

Official results show that Lebanon's pro-Syrian Hizbollah and its allies were victors in parliamentary elections in southern Lebanon. Hizbollah and the Shi'ite Amal movement took all 23 seats in the election on 5 June.

McClellan said the United States continues to have concerns about outside interference in Lebanon. He said that the killing last week of anti-Syrian journalist Samir Kassir indicates the environment created by Syria's long presence in that country.

Kassir, a columnist for the newspaper An Nahar, had demanded the removal of Syrian troops from Lebanon and an end to its influence there.


Copyright (c) 2005. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036.

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