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Entries for 'Toufic Baaklini'

Firestorm among Lebanon's Cedars


  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/amb-marc-ginsberg/firestorm-among-lebanons_b_808295.html

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Syria accused of arming Hezbollah


Hezbollah is running weapons, including surface-to-surface missiles, from secret arms depots in Syria to its bases in Lebanon, according to security sources.

The Times has been shown satellite images of one of the sites, a compound near the town of Adra, northeast of Damascus, where militants have their own living quarters, an arms storage site and a fleet of lorries reportedly used to ferry weapons into Lebanon.

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Readout of President Obama's meeting with PM Saad Hariri


The President met today with Prime Minister Saad Hariri of Lebanon.  The President commended the Prime Minister for his leadership and for carrying on his father’s legacy, and congratulated him on Lebanon’s term as President of the U.N. Security Council, where Lebanon is contributing to upholding international peace and security.

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Hezballah's Coalition Partner Meets President Obama


On Monday, Lebanese prime minister Saad Hariri will visit Washington for a meeting with President Obama. In announcing the meeting, White House press secretary Robert Gibbs called it "a symbol of the close and historic relationship between Lebanon and the United States." Indeed, between 2005 and 2009, bilateral ties were never closer or more consequential, with the Cedar Revolution ending nearly three decades of Syrian suzerainty in the country. Over the past year, however, Hariri has had to govern in coalition with Hizballah. The Iranian-Syrian backed Shiite militia will be the elephant in the Oval Office during Monday's meeting.
 

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Missed Engagement by Congressman Gary Acherman


Almost five years to the day after George W. Bush's administration withdrew America's ambassador to Syria in response to the assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri, President Barack Obama this February announced the appointment of Robert Ford as his envoy to Damascus. The Senate Foreign Relations Committee held a confirmation hearing for Ford, a respected former deputy chief of mission in Iraq, in March. On Friday, Senate Republicans blocked a motion to confirm Ford by unanimous consent.

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The Murdered Fathers Club (David Schenker) Weekly Standard


On Saturday, Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri traveled to Damascus for a meeting with Syrian president Bashar Asad, the man widely believed to have ordered the assassination of his father, former Lebanese premier Rafiq Hariri. The 2005 murder sparked the Cedar Revolution, a mass protest movement that resulted in the end of the thirty-year Syrian military occupation of Lebanon, and swept the pro-West March 14th coalition to power. Although March 14 again triumphed over the Iranian and Syrian-backed Hizballah-led opposition in elections this past June, Washington's allies in Beirut are now facing a crisis. Hariri's trip to Damascus represents the return of Syrian influence to Lebanon, and perhaps, the end of the Cedar Revolution.
 

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Remarks by President Obama and President Sleiman of Lebanon after Meeting


PRESIDENT OBAMA:  Thank you very much, everybody.  I want to welcome President Sleiman and his delegation for the excellent visit that we've had. 

I thought that this meeting was critical because the relationship between the United States and Lebanon is critical.  We have a strong friendship between the two countries.  Part of that results from the fact that we have 2 million Lebanese Americans who have made extraordinary contributions to the life of the United States, and continue to do so.  Obviously Lebanon is a critical country in a critical region, and we want to do everything that we can to encourage a strong, independent, and democratic Lebanon.

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