BEIRUT (AFP) – Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri was headed to Damascus on Monday for talks with Syrian leaders amid accusations Syria was supplying Lebanon’s Hezbollah with missiles, a government official told AFP.
“The prime minister is heading to Damascus today but we cannot elaborate any further,” the official said on condition of anonymity.
Hariri’s visit, his third since December, comes just days after his return from the United States where he held talks on mounting tensions over accusations Damascus was smuggling weapons to Hezbollah.
The premier also visited Damascus just before his trip to Washington.
Syria dominated Lebanon for nearly three decades until April 2005 when it pulled its troops out from its tiny neighbour under international and regional pressure following the assassination of Hariri’s father, Rafik Hariri.
Hariri and his US- and Western-backed allies had in the past blamed Syria for the murder and for a string of subsequent political assassinations in Lebanon. Damascus has denied any involvement.
The two countries established diplomatic ties for the first time in 2008, with Syria opening an embassy in Beirut, while Lebanon opened its mission in Damascus in March 2009.