The top US diplomat for the Middle East departed Washington Friday to visit at least three countries in the region, including Kuwait, Qatar and Lebanon.
In Kuwait, US Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs David Schenker will discuss Gulf unity, regional security and economic cooperation, a statement from the State Department said.
In Doha, Schenker will meet senior government officials “to discuss counterterrorism and regional security issues.”
On the last stop, Schenker will be the second senior foreign official in Beirut that week. On Sept. 2, he will meet with civil society representatives and discuss US efforts to help Lebanon cope with the aftermath of the Aug. 4 explosions at the Port of Beirut.
Schenker will also “urge Lebanese leaders to implement reforms that respond to the Lebanese people’s desire for transparency, accountability, and a government free of corruption,” according to the statement.
The day before Schenker is set to arrive, French President Emmanuel Macron will make his second trip to Lebanon in less than a month. Macron will reportedly urge Lebanon’s traditional political parties to allow for an interim government to be formed to implement badly needed economic and corruption reforms. Billions of dollars of soft loans and grants are on the table from the international community to help Lebanon; however, the release of these funds is tied to reforms.
Deadly sectarian clashes near Beirut between Hezbollah supporters, local clanAt least two people were killed Thursday in clashes that broke out between Hezbollah supporters and a local clan south of Beirut, over a religious ... Middle East
Massive Qatari media campaign targets Arab opinion following UAE-Israel peace dealQatar has begun a massive campaign in order to influence Arab public opinion via media channels it funds following the landmark UAE-Israel agreement ... Features
US boast of Gulf unity on Iran undermined by Qatari officials: BloombergTrump administration officials pushing the United Nations Security Council to extend an arms embargo on Iran have repeatedly boasted of a rare show of ... Gulf