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World Council for the Cedars Revolution

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Home arrow News Content arrow Blog arrow Blog Items arrow Extremism In Lebanon arrow U.S. aid to Lebanon under review
U.S. aid to Lebanon under review PDF Print E-mail
Written by Matthew Lee / Associated Press   
Wednesday, 26 January 2011

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Washington — The Obama administration is reconsidering U.S. economic and military support for Lebanon after the militant Iranian-backed group Hezbollah won a prominent role in the government of the fragile Mideast state where the U.S. has spent millions promoting a pro-Western agenda.

The administration has begun a broad review of political, economic and military assistance to Lebanon in light of the collapse of a U.S.-backed government two weeks ago, U.S. officials said Tuesday. The Obama administration will probably cut or realign that aid if Hezbollah takes over key ministries under a new prime minister, Najib Mikati, who has the backing of Hezbollah, they said.

The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because the review is in its preliminary stages. But at least one senior U.S. lawmaker called for the review and demanded a stop to all weapons transfers to Lebanon.

Hezbollah forced the collapse of the previous government, and holds a veto over the make-up of its replacement. The new government is expected to include members of Hezbollah plus other politicians.

The United States considers the Iranian-backed Hezbollah a terrorist organization and has imposed sanctions against the group and its members, with whom U.S. officials are barred from meeting.

The U.S. can avoid Hezbollah-branded officials and still do business with other members of a Lebanese government. But Secretary of State Hillary Clinton warned that a Hezbollah-dominated government would have profound consequences.

"A Hezbollah-controlled government would clearly have an impact on our bilateral relationship with Lebanon," Clinton told reporters Tuesday. She did not elaborate.

Rep. Howard Berman, D-Calif., the top Democrat on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, said Hezbollah's emergence as powerbroker was a "sad day for Lebanon" that would "render (it) a satellite of Iran."

 



 
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