Prime Minister Saad Hariri heads a Cabinet session in Beirut, Wednesday, Feb. 1, 2017. (The Daily Star/Mohammad Azakir)
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Prime Minister Saad Hariri begins a four-day official visit to Washington Monday, during which he will hold talks with U.S. President Donald Trump and discuss refugees, aid to the Army and sanctions against Hezbollah. Accompanied by Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil, Central Bank Gov. Riad Salameh, Nader Hariri, the premier's chief of staff, and several advisers, Hariri, who arrived in Washington Saturday, is scheduled to meet Trump at the White House Tuesday. The U.S. has made clear its intent to slash its aid budget for Lebanon on grounds that national forces have not adequately applied U.S. military support toward reining in Hezbollah.Future MP Atef Majdalani told The Daily Star last week that Hariri was expected to ask U.S. officials to mitigate the adverse effects on the Lebanese economy of new U.S. sanctions being drafted to target the financing of Hezbollah and its affiliates.The paper said Hariri would seek to strengthen bilateral relations by discussing with U.S. officials issues that concern Lebanon, particularly supporting the Lebanese Army and security forces.
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