Beyrouth, Apr 26 (Prensa Latina) US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton called on Lebanese citizens to vote ‘away from foreign meddling, violence and fear’ in ‘fair and transparent’ elections, upon arrival here for a brief unannounced visit. ‘Lebanon is facing a new challenge in the upcoming elections,’ and the Lebanese should choose their representatives ‘away from foreign meddling, violence and fear,’ said the head of US diplomacy.

Her comments on the June 7 legislative elections appeared to be a sly action against the Shiite resistance group Hezbollah (Party of God), which leads the opposition coalition in Parliament and is on top of surveys.

Analysts think that Hezbollah, whose leaders have openly defended the group’s relationship with Syria and the Palestinian Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas), which rules the Gaza Strip, will be the possible winner in the June elections.

The Barack Obama administration has expressed concern about the growing influence of the Party of God, which Washington has labeled as a terrorist organization, but it tries not to be seen as an element of foreign interference in the Lebanese elections.

According to diplomatic sources, Clinton met with President Michel Sleiman, and lauded his efforts ‘to build a peaceful, prosperous, sovereign and democratic Lebanon’.

Clinton said her country supports ‘moderate voices in Lebanon, the state institutions and Lebanese armed forces.’

The visitor laid a wreath at the grave of former Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri, who was killed in Beirut, along with 22 people, in February 2005. Hariri’s assassination resulted in anti-Syria protests encouraged by the government of then US President George W. Bush.

Syria denied any involvement in the attack and collaborated in the investigations with the United Nations and Lebanese authorities, a gesture that led to the normalization of bilateral relations in October 15, 2008.