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Washington warns Lebanon’s prime minister to not interfere in Syria

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U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, during her meeting with the Lebanese prime minister, Najib Mikati, in New York, warned that Lebanon should not get involved in the situation in Syria, a Lebanese daily reported on Tuesday.

“We discussed the many international obligations that Lebanon has and the prime minister assured me that Lebanon would always fulfill [its] international obligations,” Clinton told reporters following her meeting with Mikati, Lebanon’s the Daily Star reported.

She also vowed that the U.S. would continue providing assistance to the Lebanese Army.

Mikati, meanwhile, told The Daily Star that the U.S. administration was “understanding” and aware of the peculiar nature of Lebanese politics.

“They showed understanding for our situation and the most important thing for them is that Lebanon keeps a neutral stance,” he added, in reference to events in Syria.

Echoing Mikati, Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs Jeffrey Feltman said Clinton expressed to the Lebanese prime minister the U.S. administration’s understanding of Lebanon’s “very delicate situation.”

“The secretary reiterated our strong commitment to Lebanon, our understanding that Lebanon is in a very delicate situation and our support for Lebanon’s unity, Lebanon’s stability, and Lebanon’s sovereignty,” said the former U.S. ambassador to Lebanon.

“We also cautioned the prime minister that Lebanon needs to be very, very careful in not getting caught up in the unrest in Syria, in terms of not allowing Lebanon to be a way for Syria to evade sanctions and accountability for the brutality that the Syria government is showing against its people,” he said.

According to the Daily Star, Mikati reiterated that Lebanon cannot be selective in implementing international resolutions and called on the U.S. to continue providing assistance to the Lebanese Army so that it can carry out its missions, especially those related to U.N. Security Council Resolution 1701 which ended the summer 2006 war with Israel.

(To see the full report, please visit: http://goo.gl/B5plR)