The United States Ambassador Dorothy Shea accused Free Patriotic Movement (FPM) leader Gebran Bassil and Hezbollah of a symbiotic relationship that allows each party to cover for one another.
“Through his relationship with Hezbollah, Bassil covers the party’s weapons while Hezbollah cover (Bassil’s) corruption,” she issued in remarks on Friday.
The new comments come a week after Bassil, who is also the Lebanese President’s son-in-law, was sanctioned by the U.S. for his role in corruption and link to Hezbollah.
After being sanctioned, Bassil responded by saying he would never betray any Lebanese in favor of a foreigner.
However, the “betrayal” he so eloquently put as related to patriotic loyalty seems to go far beyond that, or deeper, as Ambassador Shea was quick to expose him by revealing that he had previously expressed willingness to break ties with Hezbollah.
According to the US Ambassador, both Bassil and Hezbollah are benefiting from their alliance by each turning a blind eye at the crimes and corruption of the other (at the expense of Lebanese people).
Bassil’s sanctions come as a form of the continued pressure the U.S. intends to exert on Iran-backed Hezbollah.
Notably, Ambassador Shea explained that the U.S. assistance to Lebanon’s COVID-19 response involves avoiding the Health Ministry because of its affiliation to Hezbollah.
That being said, Lebanon just entered a two-week lockdown as the Lebanese pound dwindles and the government formation remains stagnant.