US warns Lebanon over aid if Hezbollah controls government

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The Obama administration on Monday warned Lebanon’s political leaders that continuing U.S. support for their country will be difficult if the militant Hezbollah movement takes a dominant role in government.

The makeup of the Lebanese government is Lebanon’s decision, the State Department said. But the larger the role for Hezbollah, the “more problematic” for relations with Washington, State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley said.

The United States considers Iranian-backed Hezbollah as a foreign terrorist organization and has imposed sanctions against it and its members. U.S. officials do not meet with Hezbollah members and U.S. money is not supposed to further the group’s activities.

Crowley’s comments came as Hezbollah moved into position to control the next Lebanese government as it secured enough support in parliament to nominate the candidate for prime minister.

“Our view of Hezbollah is very well-known,” he told reporters. “We see it as a terrorist organization, and we’ll have great concerns about a government within which a Hezbollah plays a leading role.”

Crowley declined to say what the United States would do if Hezbollah’s candidate becomes prime minister and is able to form a government, but he said it would be hard to carry on business as usual if that happens.

Asked whether the U.S. would be able to continue economic support for a Hezbollah-controlled government in Lebanon, he replied, “That would be difficult for the United States to do.”

The U.S. has provided Lebanon with hundreds of millions of dollars in economic and military aid over the past five years, following the withdrawal of Syrian forces that had controlled the country for decades.

The United States called the fragile Lebanese democracy a counterweight to authoritarian and militant influences in the Middle East. Washington underwrote Lebanon’s army as a counterweight to Hezbollah, and argued that without U.S. support Iran or Syria might fill the vacuum.

Congressional critics of that policy cite a worry that the weapons and equipment could slip into the hands of Hezbollah for use against Israel. Hezbollah, which forced the collapse of the Lebanese coalition government last week, fought a monthlong war with Israel in August 2006.

Since 2006, the U.S. has provided four kinds of security assistance to Lebanon, the bulk of which has been about $500 million in sales of weapons and equipment such as mortars, rifles, grenade launchers, ammunition, body armor, radios and Humvee utility vehicles.

The U.S. also has increased its spending on military education and training for Lebanese officers and on programs designed to improve Lebanon’s ability to counter terrorism threats.

Rep. Howard Berman, D-Calif., the former chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, was among lawmakers who last year blocked $100 million in U.S. military aid to Lebanon. They relented and allowed the money to go through after the White House gave assurances in classified briefings that the aid bolsters both Lebanese and U.S. national security and would not be hijacked by Hezbollah.

Berman’s successor as head of the committee, Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, R-Fla., has raised similar concerns. AP

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29 responses to “US warns Lebanon over aid if Hezbollah controls government”

  1. Amine123 Avatar

    Not only US but EU and the gulf countries will stop providing to Lebanon and the only people will suffer is the Lebanese and not the Iranian puppets and the Syrian supporters
    Where is their allegance??

  2.  Avatar

    Not only US but EU and the gulf countries will stop providing to Lebanon and the only people will suffer is the Lebanese and not the Iranian puppets and the Syrian supporters
    Where is their allegance??

  3. Are you joking me? The US is going to allow in their own words “a terrorist organization” become head of the governement and discuss if they should give weapons to the army. Instead of disabling this governement, if the world community does this to the Lebanese people we have nothing to do except put matters into our own hands ๐Ÿ™

    1. The Lebanese constantly bash and criticize the US for its support to Israel, especially in the 2006 when instead of pointing the finger at Hezbollah, you pointed it at Washington. Now all of a sudden you want the US to intervene and help you. When you have a militia in your country that is more powerful than the army, what do you expect? Hezbollah’s propaganda worked in 2006 and now they have the government. Not saying it is good or bad but I do believe the country as a whole is to blame for this. I have noticed since i moved back to Lebanon that everybody constantly switches sides and jumps between bandwagons. Lebanon has no unity whatsoever. This beautiful country’s development is going to be in a constant lag until you guys figure out how to do what is best for Lebanon and not for your political party. GOD BLESS LEBANON!

    2. The Lebanese constantly bash and criticize the US for its support to Israel, especially in the 2006 when instead of pointing the finger at Hezbollah, you pointed it at Washington. Now all of a sudden you want the US to intervene and help you. When you have a militia in your country that is more powerful than the army, what do you expect? Hezbollah’s propaganda worked in 2006 and now they have the government. Not saying it is good or bad but I do believe the country as a whole is to blame for this. I have noticed since i moved back to Lebanon that everybody constantly switches sides and jumps between bandwagons. Lebanon has no unity whatsoever. This beautiful country’s development is going to be in a constant lag until you guys figure out how to do what is best for Lebanon and not for your political party. GOD BLESS LEBANON!

  4. Are you joking me? The US is going to allow in their own words “a terrorist organization” become head of the governement and discuss if they should give weapons to the army. Instead of disabling this governement, if the world community does this to the Lebanese people we have nothing to do except put matters into our own hands ๐Ÿ™

  5.  Avatar

    Are you joking me? The US is going to allow in their own words “a terrorist organization” become head of the governement and discuss if they should give weapons to the army. Instead of disabling this governement, if the world community does this to the Lebanese people we have nothing to do except put matters into our own hands ๐Ÿ™

    1. The Lebanese constantly bash and criticize the US for its support to Israel, especially in the 2006 when instead of pointing the finger at Hezbollah, you pointed it at Washington. Now all of a sudden you want the US to intervene and help you. When you have a militia in your country that is more powerful than the army, what do you expect? Hezbollah’s propaganda worked in 2006 and now they have the government. Not saying it is good or bad but I do believe the country as a whole is to blame for this. I have noticed since i moved back to Lebanon that everybody constantly switches sides and jumps between bandwagons. Lebanon has no unity whatsoever. This beautiful country’s development is going to be in a constant lag until you guys figure out how to do what is best for Lebanon and not for your political party. GOD BLESS LEBANON!

    2. The Lebanese constantly bash and criticize the US for its support to Israel, especially in the 2006 when instead of pointing the finger at Hezbollah, you pointed it at Washington. Now all of a sudden you want the US to intervene and help you. When you have a militia in your country that is more powerful than the army, what do you expect? Hezbollah’s propaganda worked in 2006 and now they have the government. Not saying it is good or bad but I do believe the country as a whole is to blame for this. I have noticed since i moved back to Lebanon that everybody constantly switches sides and jumps between bandwagons. Lebanon has no unity whatsoever. This beautiful country’s development is going to be in a constant lag until you guys figure out how to do what is best for Lebanon and not for your political party. GOD BLESS LEBANON!

  6. wow libon is going to suffer without the US firecrackers and harleys lol

    sorry guys but iran wins this one as the US, EU, and gulf proved to be impotent

    1. Amine123 Avatar

      Iran for sure win this ine and the Lebanese people are the only losers. But ultimately Iran and Syria will pay the price

    2. Amine123 Avatar

      Iran for sure win this ine and the Lebanese people are the only losers. But ultimately Iran and Syria will pay the price

  7.  Avatar

    wow libon is going to suffer without the US firecrackers and harleys lol

    sorry guys but iran wins this one as the US, EU, and gulf proved to be impotent

    1.  Avatar

      Iran for sure win this ine and the Lebanese people are the only losers. But ultimately Iran and Syria will pay the price

  8. NAGDELLA Avatar

    Once they have assigned an honest defence minister, Iโ€™m sure that $100 million will show up in the defence budget!

    1. what’s wrong with the current defense minister, do you tal to talk and walk to walk?

  9. NAGDELLA Avatar

    Once they have assigned an honest defence minister, Iโ€™m sure that $100 million will show up in the defence budget!

  10.  Avatar

    Once they have assigned an honest defence minister, Iโ€™m sure that $100 million will show up in the defence budget!

    1. what’s wrong with the current defense minister, do you tal to talk and walk to walk?

  11. master09 Avatar

    I think the Lebanese love to have a collar on the neck, they don’t want freedom or growth or peace. Without the people who visit Lebanon in summer nearly 3.5 million who spend billions, what will happen to the jobs.
    I know 20 people in my family who where going to Lebanon for a holiday and see family now we will cancel.
    How many more will do this.
    Thank you Iran, Syria And HA.
    At least under US or Isreal or Turkey rule ,we can still live in the country with no gun to the head.

  12. master09 Avatar

    I think the Lebanese love to have a collar on the neck, they don’t want freedom or growth or peace. Without the people who visit Lebanon in summer nearly 3.5 million who spend billions, what will happen to the jobs.
    I know 20 people in my family who where going to Lebanon for a holiday and see family now we will cancel.
    How many more will do this.
    Thank you Iran, Syria And HA.
    At least under US or Isreal or Turkey rule ,we can still live in the country with no gun to the head.

  13.  Avatar

    I think the Lebanese love to have a collar on the neck, they don’t want freedom or growth or peace. Without the people who visit Lebanon in summer nearly 3.5 million who spend billions, what will happen to the jobs.
    I know 20 people in my family who where going to Lebanon for a holiday and see family now we will cancel.
    How many more will do this.
    Thank you Iran, Syria And HA.
    At least under US or Isreal or Turkey rule ,we can still live in the country with no gun to the head.

  14. when i look the above picture , I could see the Iranian army division marching to liberate the Golan height with the back up Syrian army in case they need help Bashar will give them full support , after they Liberate the Golan they will go down to Tiberias lake and all the way to Nablus where they will meet the mighty Palestinian army and after staright to the holy Jerusalem , after they liberate the city ,Israel sign the capitualtion and surrender the land to the Palestinian people. Nasrallah will be proclaimed the new Khalifa for the Arabs and the 12 Mahdi for the Iranian . But the STL is standing in Nasrallah project :))))

  15. when i look the above picture , I could see the Iranian army division marching to liberate the Golan height with the back up Syrian army in case they need help Bashar will give them full support , after they Liberate the Golan they will go down to Tiberias lake and all the way to Nablus where they will meet the mighty Palestinian army and after staright to the holy Jerusalem , after they liberate the city ,Israel sign the capitualtion and surrender the land to the Palestinian people. Nasrallah will be proclaimed the new Khalifa for the Arabs and the 12 Mahdi for the Iranian . But the STL is standing in Nasrallah project :))))

  16. r u kidding me master09. u must hav a short memory. In 2006 the U.S gave ISRAEL the green light to bombard lebanon, and this was during the peak of summer there when tourism is at its peak. the U.S doesnt and has never cared about lebanon. u obviously know jack shit about middlle east politics.

  17.  Avatar

    r u kidding me master09. u must hav a short memory. In 2006 the U.S gave ISRAEL the green light to bombard lebanon, and this was during the peak of summer there when tourism is at its peak. the U.S doesnt and has never cared about lebanon. u obviously know jack shit about middlle east politics.

  18.  Avatar

    r u kidding me master09. u must hav a short memory. In 2006 the U.S gave ISRAEL the green light to bombard lebanon, and this was during the peak of summer there when tourism is at its peak. the U.S doesnt and has never cared about lebanon. u obviously know jack shit about middlle east politics.

  19.  Avatar

    r u kidding me master09. u must hav a short memory. In 2006 the U.S gave ISRAEL the green light to bombard lebanon, and this was during the peak of summer there when tourism is at its peak. the U.S doesnt and has never cared about lebanon. u obviously know jack shit about middlle east politics.

  20.  Avatar

    r u kidding me master09. u must hav a short memory. In 2006 the U.S gave ISRAEL the green light to bombard lebanon, and this was during the peak of summer there when tourism is at its peak. the U.S doesnt and has never cared about lebanon. u obviously know jack shit about middlle east politics.

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