Lebanon today : Saturday March 23 Top news

Here are the top stories for Lebanon today:

 

US Sec of State Mike Pompeo and his wife Susan are on a regional tour, with a final stop in Lebanon Pompeo and his wife Susan are on a regional tour, with a final stop in Lebanon POOL/AFP
US Sec of State Mike Pompeo and his wife Susan are on a regional tour, with a final stop in Lebanon Pompeo and his wife Susan are on a regional tour, with a final stop in Lebanon POOL/AFP

U.S. pressure on Hezbollah, Iran is working, Pompeo says in Beirut;

Lebanese politicians who met Pompeo, including President Michel Aoun, Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri and Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil — all political allies of Hezbollah — said they had told him the group was part and parcel of Lebanese politics.

“Our pressure on Iran is simple. It’s aimed at cutting off the funding for terrorists and it’s working,” Pompeo said. “We believe that our work is already constraining Hezbollah’s activities.”

Aoun tells Pompeo Hezbollah has popular support

Lebanese President Michel Aoun who is aligned with the Iranian-backed Hezbollah militant group told  visiting U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Friday that the  movement was a Lebanese party with popular support, the Lebanese presidency said.

“Preserving national unity and civil peace is a priority for us,” Aoun told Pompeo, the presidency said on its Twitter feed. The United States views the heavily armed Hezbollah as a terrorist group.

Aoun also welcomed any U.S. help in demarcating the border with Israel, noting that this would “strengthen security and stability in the South.”

 

Siniora: Trump’s Golan Stance Torpedoes all Peace Initiatives

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, left, meets with Lebanon's President Michel Aoun at the presidential palace in Baabda on March 22, 2019. Pompeo is on a regional tour to build a united front against Iran.
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, left, meets with Lebanon’s President Michel Aoun at the presidential palace in Baabda on March 22, 2019. Pompeo is on a regional tour to build a united front against Iran.

Former PM Fouad Siniora on Friday condemned U.S. President Donald Trump’s stance on Syria’s Israeli-occupied Golan Heights, warning that it “torpedoes all peace initiatives.” “ He is trying to legitimize the occupation of an Arab land whose identity has been Arab throughout history before Israel seized it through brutal  usurpation,” Siniora said in a statement.

Trump said on Thursday it was time for Washington to recognize Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan Heights, a strategic territory it seized from Syria in the Six-Day War of 1967 and annexed in a move never recognized by the international community.