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Lebanese Prime Minister Najib Mikati described Hezbollah several times as a “tumor” during a meeting on December 18, 2008 with US State Department official David Hale and former US Ambassador to Lebanon Michele Sison.

“The group’s mini-state must be removed in order to preserve Lebanon,” he added.

Mikati also said that Hezbollah’s ultimate goal in Lebanon was to create an Iranian military base on the Mediterranean from which Ayatollah Khomeini’s Islamic revolution could be carried to the West.

Regarding Lebanese-Syrian ties, he noted that diplomatic relations with Syria were purely “cosmetic,” but also confirmed that better relations with its neighbor provided the Lebanese government with space to counter Hezbollah.

Responding to a question about the premiership in the event of a March 8 electoral victory, Mikati said he would refuse the position because he would not be representing the Sunni population, adding that becoming prime minister without the full support of the Sunni community would always result in failure.

He also described President Michel Suleiman as quiet and unchallenging, adding that he had a “worrisome” conversation with Suleiman on December 17 in which the President said his job was easier than he had expected.

Mikati also described the Lebanese Armed Forces as polarized in favor of March 8 with most officers supporting Hezbollah and Change and Reform bloc leader MP Michel Aoun over President Suleiman. Now Lebanon

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