US State Department spokesperson Philip Crowley said on Friday that “there is no evidence that the Lebanese army used American-made weapons during the recent military clash with Israel,” Future News has reported.
Crowley reiterated “Washington’s commitment to continued support of the Lebanese government and strengthening the capacities of the Lebanese army,” saying that such support helps stabilize regional security and further American interests.
He added that the Lebanese army’s opening fire was “unjustified and completely impermissible,” and that the US was awaiting a full UN report on Tuesday’s events.
Two Lebanese soldiers, a journalist and a senior Israeli officer were killed in the border clash on Tuesday, the most serious incident since the July 2006 war
US Congressman Ron Klein said on Thursday that if the opening of fire was shown to be a “Lebanese government authorized action, I think a lot of members would be very concerned about continuing to provide military support to Lebanon,” Israel’s The Jerusalem Post reported.
Americans for Peace Now (APN) reported that pressure appears to be mounting on Congress to punish Lebanon… It also appears that groundwork is being laid in advance to ensure US support for Israel in the case of another Lebanon war.
Israeli and Jewish lobbies
The American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC ) has reportedly circulated a memo arguing that the Lebanese Army is cooperating with Hezbollah, and stating that unless this stops, “Washington must reevaluate its relationship with the Beirut government and the Lebanese Armed Forces–the recipient of significant American military aid.”
Similarly, The Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs (JINSA) has reportedly circulated a memo implicitly bashing the Obama Administration for providing military aid to Lebanon (something that the Bush Administration did as well). The memo also appears to explicitly call for Israel to launch a new war in Lebanon and takes a shot at the Obama Administration in advance for being insufficiently supportive of such an action.
US ambassador Sison
Outgoing U.S. Ambassador to Lebanon Michele Sison paid a farewell visit to President Michel Suleiman on Friday during which she stressed the U.S. support for Lebanon’s sovereignty and security.
“A strong, sovereign, stable Lebanon at peace with its neighbors is in everyone’s interest — the Lebanese, the region, and the international community,” she stressed.
commenting on Tuesday’s border clashes at Adeisseh , she said: “This terrible and tragic event reminds us once again that we must all work for progress toward the permanent ceasefire that U.N. Security Council resolution 1701 demands. The United States continues to call on all parties to work to diminish these tensions.”
“The United States is committed to achieving a lasting, comprehensive, and sustainable peace in the Middle East. Lebanon’s security and stability cannot be separated from this process,” Sison stated.
She emphasized the U.S.’s support for Lebanon in various fields, including the economic and security one, as well as the Special Tribunal for Lebanon.
“I depart Lebanon knowing that the United States remains unshaken in its commitment to Lebanon’s sovereignty – not just in word, but also in deed. Most of all, I depart Lebanon knowing that partnership between the Lebanese and American peoples grows deeper and stronger each day,” Sison added.
Maura Connelly, Deputy Assistant Secretary in the State Department Near Eastern Affairs bureau, and former charge d’affaires at the U.S. embassy in Damascus, was nominated last June by US president Barack Obama to be the U.S. ambassador to Lebanon but the US Senate has not yet confirmed her nomination
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