VP Biden praises the Lebanese Army’s courage in confronting extremists


biden haririFormer  Lebanese Prime Minister and Future Movement leader MP  Saad Hariri  who is in the US on an official visit met  several US  officials in Washington Friday,  including Vice President   Joe Biden , according  to a statement from his media office said.

The White House issued the following press release about the Biden – Hariri  meeting in which  it reaffirmed the United States’ support for Lebanon’s sovereignty and independence and praised the courage of the Lebanese Armed Forces in confronting extremists.

The Vice President met this morning with former Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri. The Vice President reaffirmed the United States’ support for Lebanon’s sovereignty and independence, as well as the wide-ranging partnership between the United States and the government and people of Lebanon. The Vice President praised the courage of the Lebanese Armed Forces in confronting extremists inside Lebanon and expressed support for Lebanon’s policy of dissociation from the conflict in Syria. The Vice President and former Prime Minister discussed regional and international developments, including ongoing nuclear diplomacy with Iran. The Vice President underscored that no nation in the Middle East should enjoy a sphere of influence at the expense of its neighbors’ sovereignty. 

The Vice President and the former Prime Minister also discussed Lebanon’s political situation. They agreed on the need for Lebanese leaders to reach agreement, for the good of their country, to fill the current Presidential vacancy. The Vice President recognized the immense humanitarian challenge confronting Lebanon and all of Syria’s neighbors, and the former Prime Minister expressed his gratitude for U.S. humanitarian support for Syrian refugees in Lebanon.

According to Hariri’s media office , the former PM   met also on Friday  separately with National Security Adviser Susan Rice and Under Secretary of Defense for Policy Christine Wormuth and representatives of the Arab Press

The meeting with Rice was also attended by Amal Mudallali, advisor for American Affairs; Yael Lempert, National Security Council Senior Director for the near East  and Kathleen Costello, the director of the Office of Lebanon.

The statement said the meeting “focused on the situation in Lebanon and the latest developments in the region particularly in the Syria, Iraq and Yemen.” It did not elaborate.

Hariri also met with Wormuth for talks “on the situation in the region and the ways to increase support for the [Lebanese] army and security forces so they can be able to maintain security and fight terrorism.”

Hariri who arrived on Tuesday,   began meetings with U.S. officials Wednesday when he held talks with Secretary of State John Kerry.