Vice President Joe biden, right, receives former Prime Minister Saad Hariri in Washington, Friday, April 24, 2015. (The Daily Star/Dalati Nohra, HO)
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Hariri made the declaration before he met with U.S. Vice President Joe Biden at the White House Friday.The visit comes as Lebanon is facing tough security challenges with the Lebanese Army being locked in an open battle against Syria-based jihadis who are seeking to destabilize the country.The U.S. trip, the latest of Hariri's regional and foreign political flurry of activity, is primarily aimed at holding talks on how to shield Lebanon from the repercussions of regional turmoil, particularly the 4-year-old civil war in neighboring Syria. Ahead of his meeting with Biden, Hariri stressed that moderation is the key to facing extremism in Lebanon and elsewhere in the world. Despite deep differences with Hezbollah over internal politics, Syria and Yemen, Hariri pledged to carry on the dialogue with the Shiite group.Reiterating his opposition to Hezbollah's military intervention in Syria and its meddling in the internal affairs of Iraq and Yemen, Hariri said: "We are against what Hezbollah is doing in, Syria, Iraq [and] Yemen but this does not stop us from working as much as we can to protect Lebanon". He stressed that political conflicts should be resolved through dialogue in order to preserve stability in the country.
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