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UN diplomat criticized for thanking Hezbollah terror group for meeting

Several Israeli diplomats responded to Wronecka’s social media message, some in disbelief

United Nations Special Coordinator Joanna Wronecka (Photo: UN)

The United Nations special coordinator for Lebanon drew considerable criticism on Monday for expressing thanks to the terrorist organization Hezbollah for meeting with her and giving her a general summary of issues on the Lebanese agenda. 

“I thank Mr. Ammar Moussawi of Hizbullah (sic) for a tour d’horizon on issues of priority for #Lebanon, including the election of a new President, the functioning of state institutions and the impact of regional and international developments on the country,” U.N. Special Coordinator Joanna Wronecka wrote on social media. 

Wronecka heads up the Beirut-based “Department of Political and Peacebuilding Affairs,” while Hezbollah is a terrorist organization and Iranian proxy that, as recently as April, has reiterated threats of eradicating Israel. 

“The resistance only needs $9 billion and there will be nothing left called Israel in the region,” said the head of the Hezbollah bloc in the Lebanese parliament at the time. The word “resistance” is used to refer to the Iranian regime and its proxies, such as Hezbollah, that are officially committed to Israel’s destruction. 

In December, an Irish soldier serving in a U.N. peacekeeping force in Lebanon, Private Sean Rooney, was killed while riding in a moving vehicle believed to have been attacked by a Hezbollah supporter. The suspect was charged with Rooney’s murder earlier this month in a Lebanese court. Six others were charged with attempted murder and vehicle damage. 

Although Hezbollah denied any involvement in the killing, Ireland’s then-Foreign and Defense Minister Simon Coveney said he did not accept Hezbollah's claims that it was not involved. 

Wronecka is a seasoned Polish diplomat, who served as Poland’s ambassador to the U.N. from 2017 until April 2021, including during Poland’s membership in the U.N. Security Council in 2018-2019. She was appointed to her current role as U.N. special coordinator for Lebanon in April 2021. 

Ammar Moussawi is Hezbollah’s head of international relations. He is responsible for the “International Community” division of Hezbollah’s political council.

Several Israeli diplomats responded to Wronecka’s social media message, some in disbelief.

“Is this real..??,” wrote Joshua Zarka, deputy director general and head of strategic affairs at Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. “An official Senior U.N. Representative thanks the terrorist organization responsible for the murder of a U.N. peace keeper for ‘a tour d’horizon’!!! Have the world gone completely mad?!”

Yaki Lopez, head of public diplomacy for Israel’s embassy in Berlin, wrote: “So how does it feel to be indoctrinated by a terrorist? Care to share with us?” 

Not only Israelis reacted to Wronecka’s tweet of gratitude towards Hezbollah. One Lebanese woman, Vera Kodeih Ghali, wrote: “You are thanking Hizbullah for ‘a tour d'horizon’ on Lebanese issues, but maybe you have forgotten that Hizbullah and its allies were involved in murdering a UNIFIL soldier of the Irish Peace Keeping Unit?!”

Wronecka is far from the first U.N. official in Lebanon to meet with Hezbollah representatives. Wronecka’s predecessor, the Slovakian Ján Kubiš, met in 2019 with Hezbollah’s Deputy Sec.-Gen. Naim Qassem and wrote that he was “grateful for an open and substantive discussion on a broad range of topics with Deputy Secretary General Naim Qassem of Hizbullah.”

Qassem gave Kubiš a book, which Kubiš described as “necessary reading.” 

“On top, I received a copy of his book – a necessary reading,” Kubiš tweeted. According to The Times of Israel, “Kubiš was likely referring to ‘Hizbullah (Hezbollah): The Story from Within,’ a 464-page tome first published in English a decade ago.”

Following Kubiš’ meeting with Qassem, top Israeli diplomats also reacted strongly.

“We are shocked and disappointed by this meeting with a designated terror organization’s leader, threatening Israel, Lebanon and the whole region,” Israeli Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Emmanuel Nahshon wrote at the time.

The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.

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