No changes in travel warning for Lebanon, U.S. says


There are no additional warnings for U.S. nationals in Lebanon because of potential political turmoil, a U.S. embassy official said.

The U.S. Embassy in Beirut said it is required to review and revise its travel warnings every six months. The pan-Arab daily al-Hayat reported recently that the embassy updated its travel warning for Lebanon because of political tensions surrounding a U.N.-backed investigation into the 2005 assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri.

Hezbollah and Damascus were blamed for the assassination. Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri, the slain minister’s son, told an Arab newspaper recently that blaming Damascus was a mistake. Hezbollah, for its part, claims the assassination and the tribunal are part of a broad Israeli conspiracy.

Meanwhile, the Emirati newspaper The National reports that Brig. Gen. Jamil Sayyed, jailed for four years in connection to the plot, said he believes Hariri paid witnesses to testify against him.

Embassy officials told Lebanon’s Daily Star newspaper there were no updated travel warnings.

The latest travel warning from the U.S. State Department in March said that while Lebanon is calm, “the potential for a spontaneous upsurge in violence is real.” UPI



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