President Michel Aoun holds talks with Assistant secretary of state for Near East affairs, Anne Patterson, at the Baabda Palace, Tuesday, Dec. 13, 2016. (The Daily Star/Dalati & Nohra, HO)
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The first high-ranking American diplomat to visit Beirut since the election of President Michel Aoun met with top officials Tuesday, stressing U.S. support for Lebanon. The U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs Anne Patterson, accompanied by the U.S. Ambassador to Lebanon Elizabeth Richard, met with President Aoun at Baabda Palace, before meeting with Army commander Gen. Jean Kahwagi and the Prime Minister-designate Saad Hariri.Patterson relayed an oral message to Aoun from U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, congratulating Aoun on his recent election as the Republic's 13th president, the presidential media office said. Patterson's visit, six weeks after Aoun's election, follows a series of similar trips from regional and international officials to announce renewed support for Lebanon.
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