Trump, Lebanon PM discuss region issues

Author : Mircea Birca | Tuesday, July 25, 2017
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Donald Trump labelled the juggernaut Lebanese militant group Hizbollah as “a menace to the entire region” as he stood next to Lebanon’s Prime Minister during their first official meeting.

The U.S. President made the damning comments during a joint press conference with Saad Hariri following an 85-minute meeting between the two leaders at the White House.

He said: “Hizbollah is a menace to the Lebanese state, the Lebanese people and the entire region.’

Trump criticised Hizbollah’s continued growing reach “to increase its military arsenal which threatens to start yet another conflict with Israel” and went on to say that “with the support of Iran, the organisation is also fueling humanitarian catastrophe in Syria”.

However, Mr Trump seemed to make a pointed distinction between Lebanon and Hizbollah.

“Lebanon is on the frontline against the terrorism of ISIL, al-Qaeda and Hizbollah” he said while reiterating his administration’s commitment to continue supporting the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF).

When he was asked about the congressional sanctions on Hizbollah, Mr Trump indicated he would be meeting with his military commanders and replied: “I’ll be making my position very clear over the next 24 hours”.

During the press conference, Mr Trump also criticised Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad.

“I am no fan of Assad… what he’s done to that country and humanity is horrible,” the U.S. President said.

He also took aim at his predecessor Barack Obama for his decision to draw a red line on chemical weapons in Syria with no consequence. A move, he insisted, empowered both Iran and Russia in Syria.

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