Washington, Beirut- US President Donald Trump considered during his meeting with Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri that Hezbollah “is a menace to the Lebanese state, the Lebanese people, and the entire region.”
The US president said “the group continues to increase its military arsenal, which threatens to start yet another conflict with Israel, constantly fighting them back.”
On Tuesday, Hariri crowned his Washington trip by meeting with Trump at the White House, where he stressed the importance of protecting stability in Lebanon as an absolute priority at this stage.
Speaking at a joint press conference, Trump said: “The Prime Minister and I have just concluded an extensive conversation about the challenges and opportunities facing Lebanon and its neighbors.”
He added that Lebanon is on the front lines in the fight against ISIS, Al Qaeda, and Hezbollah.
“The Lebanese army has been fighting continually to guard Lebanon’s border and prevent ISIS and other terrorists — of which there are many — from gaining a foothold inside their country,” the US President told Hariri.
Trump said the US military has been proud to help in that fight and will continue to do so.
“America’s assistance can help ensure that the Lebanese army is the only defender Lebanon needs,” he added.
Trump accused the head of the Syrian regime, Bashar Assad, of committing “horrible” crimes against humanity and he pledged “not to stand by and let him get away with what he tried to do.”
For his part, Hariri thanked Trump for his support to the Lebanese army and security agencies, as well as his support to maintaining peace and stability along the southern border.
“We are happy to make sure that this partnership we have in fighting ISIS and all terrorism is ongoing. We will keep this partnership, hopefully, for the best of the region,” Hariri said from the Rose Garden.