Clinton: We need a stable, sovereign Lebanon (JERUSALEM POST) By HILARY LEILA KRIEGER JPOST CORRESPONDENT 06/17/12)
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WASHINGTON – US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has made calls to
Lebanese leaders in recent days to emphasize the American commitment
to stability as upheaval in Syria threatens its neighbor.
On Thursday, Clinton spoke to Lebanon’s Prime Minister Najib Mikati
and former prime minister Saad Hariri.
“The secretary voiced concern over recent incidents in Lebanon and
expressed appreciation for the prime minister’s and other Lebanese
leaders’ efforts to maintain calm,” according to the State Department
statement on the Mikati call. “Secretary Clinton emphasized the
United States’ commitment to a stable, independent and sovereign
She communicated a similar message to Hariri, according to the State
Department, but also discussed steps the US could take with him and
the Lebanese government to improve the situation, which has seen
violence threaten to once again engulf the country.
“Syria is trying to change the subject and move the confrontation to
Lebanon,” explained Amal Mudallali, an adviser to Hariri who was
speaking at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies Friday in
But she said that right now, only Hezbollah has the military and
political power in the country to start a civil war.
Yet she assessed that Hezbollah did not want to move to such a step
at this time.
“The party that has the most weapons and the power is Hezbollah, and
it’s not in their interest to have a war,” Mudallali said. “There’s
no party in Leb that has an interest in civil war.”
Hassan Mneimneh, who also spoke at the Foundation for Defense of
Democracies event Friday, agreed. While he said tensions would
continue to flare in Lebanon, “It’s not going to devolve into civil
Mudallali also dismissed the threat of Salafis or even al-Qaida
gaining power in the north as not borne out by the facts, one which
Lebanese there see as a “ploy” to justify action against the area.
She saw this too as an effort by Syria to distract from its own
actions, particularly by drawing US attention to Lebanon with such
“Using it is a message to the United States,” she said. (© 1995-2011,
The Jerusalem Post 06/17/12)
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