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US state secretary arrives in Lebanon, meets president

US state secretary arrives in Lebanon, meets president
Rex Tillerson also plans to meet Lebanese PM and parliament speaker before wrapping up regional tour in Turkey

By Wassem Saif al-Din

BEIRUT (AA) - U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, who is currently on a five-nation tour of the region, arrived in Beirut on Thursday for talks with Lebanese officials.

After a brief meeting with Lebanese President Michel Aoun, Tillerson is next slated to meet Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri and Prime Minister Saad Hariri, with whom he will hold a joint press conference.

Notably, Tillerson’s visit comes amid mounting tensions between Lebanon and Israel.

Earlier this month, Lebanon's Supreme Defense Council ordered the military to prepare for possible confrontations with Israel near the border.

The council also warned against Israeli plans to build a wall along the border, saying the planned barrier would constitute a violation of both Lebanese sovereignty and UN Security Council Resolution 1701.

UNSC Resolution 1701, which prohibits acts of aggression in Southern Lebanon, was adopted after a devastating month-long conflict in 2006 between Israel and Lebanon’s Hezbollah group.

Tillerson, who has already visited Egypt, Kuwait, and Jordan, is now scheduled to travel to Turkey for the final leg of his regional tour.

source: News Feed
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