Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

US official slams Hezbollah’s intervention in Syria - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
Select Page

In this photo released by Lebanon's official government photographer Dalati Nohra, outgoing Lebanese Prime Minister Najib Mikati meets with US Deputy Secretary of State William Burns at the government house in Beirut, Lebanon, Monday, July 1, 2013. (AP Photo/Bilal Hussein)

In this photo released by Lebanon’s official government photographer Dalati Nohra, outgoing Lebanese Prime Minister Najib Mikati meets with US Deputy Secretary of State William Burns at the government house in Beirut, Lebanon, Monday, July 1, 2013. (AP Photo/Bilal Hussein)

Beirut, Asharq Al-Awsat—US Deputy Secretary of State William Burns yesterday condemned Hezbollah’s participation in the war in Syria, and said that the US supported Lebanon’s policy of distancing itself from the Syrian conflict.

Burns said: “[Hezbollah] has decided to put its interests over the interests of the Lebanese people, and has put Lebanon’s future at risk.” He added that this action “served the interests of Iran and Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad, more than it did Lebanon.”

Burns made the statement during a news conference at Beirut International Airport at the end of one-day visit to Lebanon. He met President Michel Suleiman, prime minister of the caretaker government, Najib Mikati, and other senior officials, during the visit.

Burns praised “President Michel Suleiman’s role and his wisdom during the difficult circumstances which Lebanon was going through.” He offered his condolences to the families of the victims of the recent Sidon incident, adding that “the US government will continue to provide aid to the security forces” and “will increase its aid to the Lebanese army,” stressing that “the army is the national institution which protects the people, and which plays a great role in this sensitive period.”

Meanwhile, American diplomatic sources have told Asharq Al-Awsat anonymously that “the United States supports the Lebanese army as the only legitimate military force in Lebanon.”

Burns and Suleiman also discussed the situation in Syria and the preparations for Geneva II, stressing American and Lebanese emphasis on finding a political solution to the Syrian conflict, and the rejection of outside intervention in the struggle inside Syria.

They also discussed Middle East peace and US efforts to kick-start talks between Israelis and Palestinians, after a series of negotiations with both sides.

Burns promised to help Lebanon deal with the plight of the Syrian refugees, providing aid through international agencies, to share the burden of these refugees with Lebanon.